Gideon Sa’ar, the highest ranking Likud member after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a contender to succeed Netanyahu as party chairman, is considering resigning over allegations regarding sexual misconduct, including statutory rape, according to a report by Lahav Harkov of the Jerusalem Post.
A letter allegedly signed by an Education Ministry (under the initials M.K. in Hebrew) employee was sent to the Prime Minister alleging that Sa’ar had an illegal affair with her asking that Sa’ar not be given a ministry in the government. The letter also raised previously known allegations that Sa’ar had sexual relations with an intoxicated minor at a night club.
The letter came as many top Likud members were, and still are, competing for ministries within the government, which will be scarce due to the Likud-Beitenu’s poor election showing.
Sa’ar was chairman of the Likud campaign’s operational branch and has taken heavy criticism for the Likud’s losses in the election.
Maya Katz, Sa’ar’s close aide, denied that she had written the letter or that the allegations made, apparently in her name, had any basis in reality.
Most Israeli publications have reported on the incident as if the letter is a forgery and a mere ploy in the contest for ministries and for which of the Likud’s ministers will succeed Netanyahu.
The report in the Post is the first indication that the allegations about the office affair might be serious.
The Attorney General’s office recently announced that it will be investigating the letter, including whether it is a forgery.