Stern Rejects Allegations of Shredding Complaints of Sexual Harassment
Just recently, the leader of Yesh Atid, Yair Lapid, expressed his complete support for a colleague of his party, Elazar Stern, the intelligence minister.
This support came shortly after Stern was accused of allegedly boasting that he had shredded numerous anonymous complaints during his time at the IDF. An accusation also came from a female soldier, who claimed that the minister had instructed her to stay quiet regarding an incident where she had been sexually harassed by her office.
Lapid added that he had a conversation with Stern related to this incident. According to him, he fully believes that his colleague had nothing to do with shredding complaints of sexual harassment.
The leader of Yesh Atif claimed that his party has no tolerance for harassment of any kind. He stated that if Stern had admitted that he had shredded any documents of complaints of sexual harassment, he would have been asked to disassociate himself from the party immediately.
Where the accusation against Stern is concerned, Lapid asserted that he had believed his colleague and not the woman who had accused him. In his words, the intelligence minister has always been sensitive when it came to handling sexual harassment complaints throughout his career at the IDF. Therefore, he concluded that the allegations against Stern were not true and that he was being falsely accused of no reason.
Late on Monday night, an interview was also aired, which included the woman, who had accused the intelligence minister of intimidating her. According to her account of the incident, she had departed from the IDF four months earlier than she was supposed to, due to the fact that Stern had forbidden her to talk about her sexual harassment encounter with her office.
She went on to add that she had been shocked when she first learned that Stern had denied shredding any complaints. In her words, he is a liar.
In response, the office of the intelligence minister stated that he had been aware of the incident back then and had taken appropriate action against the officer. This had included shortening the service of the accused and preventing him from getting promoted.
On Sunday night, a female officer had recalled an alleged incident that had occurred back when she had been in the official school of the IDF, Bahad 1. She stated that one of the NCOs had tried to come on to her and sexually harass her. At the time, she says, MK Elazar Stern, her personal commander, as well as the accused, had been present in the room with her.
Using an electronically altered voice on television, the woman alleged that Stern had told her that he would make her life miserable for the rest of her service if she talked to anyone about being sexually harassed. In addition, she claimed that he had threatened to remove her from the army.
Lapid demanded that the IDF carry out an investigation into the allegations right away and allow Stern to stand up for himself.