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Former IDF manpower chief says he ‘shredded’ many sexual harassment complaints

Intelligence Minister Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) says that during his military service as head of the IDF’s Manpower Directorate, he ignored anonymous complaints about sexual misconduct.

“People who have something to say about others should speak openly. We mustn’t be complicit in a culture of anonymous complaints,” Stern tells radio 103FM, responding to an anonymous complaint lodged recently against incoming head of the Shin Bet, who can only be identified by the Hebrew initial Resh.

“During my time as head of the Manpower Directorate, I shredded many  anonymous sexual harassments complaints,” he adds.

After comments draw sharp condemnations from women’s groups, Stern issues a clarification statement asserting that as an officer in the IDF, he “encouraged every soldier, male or female, who was harassed, sexually or otherwise, to complain, and at the same time took unequivocal action against anyone found guilty. All complaints… were investigated in depth.”

The next designated head of the Shin Bet security service was approved by a key panel on Friday, despite an anonymous letter claiming unspecified misconduct by the candidate.

The Goldberg Committee said in a statement that it did not find any “defect in the purity of the qualities of the candidate” as well as not finding any issue with the process that resulted in him being appointed.

Two separate claims were made in an anonymous letter presented to the panel, the specifics of which could not be detailed publicly due to security constraints.

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