On Monday we learned that, facing protest from kingmaker Yair Lapid and his untarnished Yesh Atid party, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nixed the appointment of his former aide Natan Eshel as head of the Likud-Beytenu’s coalition negotiations team.

Last year, Eshel was forced to resign his position as the prime minister’s bureau chief amid allegations of sexual misconduct; specifically that he had used a surreptitiously placed camera to film under the skirt of a female colleague. He was also accused of accessing her private emails.

The woman, who preferred to remain anonymous and didn’t press charges, has been referenced by Israeli media with the pithy moniker “R.”

As part of the plea bargain in his case, Eshel admitted to misconduct, was given a slap on the wrist “severe reprimand” and was forced to retire from public service. However, he remained active behind the scenes; for instance, he was instrumental in cobbling together the short-lived Likud-Kadima national unity coalition last spring.

Perhaps predictably, since the elections last week, Eshel’s appointment to pilot Netanyahu’s coalition talks team has sparked controversy — and a steady stream of sometimes-hilarious Facebook memes. The following gem of speculative comedy, for instance, has Eshel apprising his boss of the shades of undies worn by female politicians Shelly Yachimovich, Tzipi Livni and Ayelet Shaked to a coalition pow-wow.

(via Facebook)

‘Tzipi’s, surprisingly, were black with a Superman logo.’ (via Amir Schiby’s Facebook page)

“Go ahead, Natan, bring me up to speed,” Netanyahu says.

“Shelly’s, as expected, were red; Tzipi’s, suprisingly, were black with a Superman logo,” Eshel replies, and laments that Shaked, “despite my entreaties,” arrived in pants. Hot.

Yachimovich, the leader of the soft-left Labor Party, upped the ante Monday evening with a Facebook post revealing an email that Eshel, whom she called Netanyahu’s “right-hand man,” had sent to his legal adviser in December, asking whether he could represent the PM at coalition talks.

Apparently, aside from sending the message to the adviser, Shlomit Barnea Farago, as planned, Eshel had mistakenly typed Yachimovich’s address in the “To” field. These things happen.

“Shavua tov Shlomit,” the email reads. “How are you and what’s doing.

“The prime minister and Minister Liberman want me to lead their negotiations team for forming the next coalition. Does my commitment to not work in government service (which doesn’t include political or public [service]) cause a conflict, or is it okay,” Eshel wrote, signing off as “Natke.”

An email sent by Natan Eshel to his legal adviser and Shelly Yachimovich (photo credit: via Facebook)

An email sent by Natan Eshel to his legal adviser and Shelly Yachimovich (photo credit: via Facebook)

“Hi, it’s Shelly,” Yachimovich wrote in her post. “[This is] disturbing, incriminating, but also amusing: Here’s an email that Natan Eshel mistakenly sent to me — it was addressed to his legal adviser — in which he reveals that Netanyahu had asked him to lead coalition negotiations.”

Yachimovich proceeded to describe the sordid gist of the case and then explained how Eshel had come to have her private email address in his contacts list.

“He got hold of it a while back, after I demanded that he stop attending to state affairs,” she wrote, “in order to send me a series of embarrassing hate emails.”

Who knew that the truly dirty laundry would only be aired after the elections?