Jewish Home MK Yinon Magal is facing allegations of sexual misconduct after two women came forward Tuesday claiming that he made advances on them while they worked for him at Walla news.
In a Tuesday morning Facebook post, Walla reporter Racheli Rottner said Magal had made lewd comments to her while he served as editor-in-chief of the Israeli news site. Following Rottner, Walla reporter Or Shukran posted hours later accusing Magal of “repeatedly stroking my behind, even after I asked him to stop,” an act that could be considered sexual assault.
Rottner said Magal often suggested she wear “sexier” clothes during news reports, once telling her she should dress “like a librarian from a porn movie.” She said that at the time she took the comments lightly, putting them down to “mischievous Yinon,” but his behavior at his leaving party left her questioning his true intent.
“I didn’t see it coming when he sat down next to me at the party,” she wrote. According to Rottner, Magal sat close to her and whispered, “Tell me, did you feel the tension between us while we worked together? I’ve always felt a sexual tension between us. You didn’t notice?”
Rottner said that when she awkwardly laughed it off, Magal told her, “Now that I’m no longer your boss I can tell you this: whenever we worked together I was horny for you, was looking at you and thinking about your tits and ass. And I would talk to other people about it a lot, how horny your tits and ass make me.”
Magal responded to the charges with his own post on the social media site, in which he said that there are things he did before he was a lawmaker that he would rather not recall.
“I apologize and request forgiveness from anyone I hurt,” he wrote. “That being said, I would expect from a friend that was hurt by me to tell me so and not to turn to shaming on social media.”
In response, Ariel Waysman, Rottner’s husband, wrote on Magal’s Facebook wall: “I would expect a Jewish Home MK not to try to fuck my wife.”
Shukran posted her own response to Magal on Facebook, saying he had brought the “shaming” on himself.
“Someone who repeatedly stroked my behind, even when I asked him not to, asked me if I wanted to join him in the toilet, and a host of other inappropriate things, brings shaming upon themselves,” she wrote.
Party leader Naftali Bennett summoned Magal for a meeting Tuesday night to discuss the allegations. He has, however, stopped short of condemning Magal, whom he personally brought into the party and for whom he reserved a top spot on the electoral list.
“We are still in the clarification stage, and we won’t be taking any steps at the moment,” Bennett told the religious Zionist website Srugim.