Knesset member Yinon Magal of the Bayit Yehudi party has announced he will resign from his post due to allegations of sexual harassment. Magal has already resigned as head of his party’s faction in the Knesset.
Magal informed party chairman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett – who is currently in the United States – of his intentions. He added that he is sure he is not liable for criminal charges, but understands that people were hurt by his behavior.
Bennett has expressed his support for the move, and issued a statement saying: “I hope the process he is in will end as quickly as possible so he can be dedicated to his family and continue on his way.”
Allegations surfaced last week on social media that Magal had made unwanted advances to a writer for Walla! News after resigning from his post as editor-in-chief at the website last year. The incident came to light after the writer wrote a detailed Facebook post about it.
“First of all, I want to apologize,” Magal said in a statement last Tuesday. “There are things that were said between friends before I became a Knesset member and I would not repeat them today. I want to ask for forgiveness from anyone I hurt. At the same time, I would expect that a friend who I hurt to tell me, and not to turn to shaming on social media.”
Some of the comments Magal reportedly said at the “goodbye party” held for him when he left the website for politics, as described by the writer, were quite explicit.
Magal has not yet officially resigned from the Knesset. Police are beginning to launch an investigation into the allegations, however, under the direct supervision of the head of Assistant Chief Meni Yitzchaki, head of the Investigations and Intelligence Branch of Israel Police.