Yesh Atid MK: I was sexually harassed by my gynecologist

Yael German says she felt ‘insecure, ashamed and humiliated’ after alleged incident, ‘did not believe how a gynecologist could dare’

Yesh Atid MK Yael German attends a committee meeting at the Knesset on February 14, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Yesh Atid MK Yael German attends a committee meeting at the Knesset on February 14, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A lawmaker from the Yesh Atid party on Saturday said she was sexually harassed by her gynecologist, in the latest allegation of sexual harassment in Israel.

MK Yael German made the accusation while speaking at a cultural event in Modiin, where she was asked if she had ever been sexually harassed.

“Every [woman] has been sexually harassed. I have too, by a gynecologist,” she said. “I froze. I did not believe how a gynecologist could dare.”

German said while she stopped going to the gynecologist, she did not say anything about the incident at the time.

“I felt insecure, ashamed and humiliated. I was dumbstruck,” she said.

She did not say when the sexual harassment took place.

German’s allegation came after a number of high-profile accusations of sexual harassment in Israel over the past week, including against the late father of her party leader Yair Lapid.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Sylvie Keshet, 87, a long-time Yedioth Ahronoth columnist, said she met the late Tommy Lapid — then a reporter for the Ma’ariv daily — at a party hosted by Israel’s former ambassador to the United Kingdom in London in 1963.

“I started to get bored and told my friend I was going home. Tommy asked if we could split a cab… We reached my apartment and Tommy said: I remembered that I need to call someone, can I come up?”

Tommy Lapid reporting from Adolf Eichman’s trial in Jerusalem 1961. (Government Press Office/Israel National Photo Collection)

“Suddenly he turned to me, pushed me on the carpet. I hit my head and he ripped my narrow dress,” she continued. “When he tried to open his zipper, I kneed him where it hurts, and when he recoiled, I added a stab with my high heels.”

“I don’t know where I found the strength, I was small and scrawny, but anger gives a lot of strength. While he was rolled up, I got up, ran to the kitchen and poured a kettle of water on him. I took his coat and threw is out of the window. He left shame-faced,” Keshet wrote.

“The next day I wrote to him… that he ripped my new dress that cost me such-and-such amount, although I have no receipt. And if he didn’t put the money in my mailbox, I’m telling his new wife,” she wrote. “He gave me back the money.”

In response to the allegations, a statement from Yair Lapid, Tommy’s son, said: “Unfortunately, we have no way to respond to a story from 54 years ago.”

A former government minister, leader of the now-defunct Shinui party, and veteran journalist, the senior Lapid died in 2008 of cancer.

Also on Thursday, Channel 10 host Oshrat Kotler said she had received an ‘indecent proposal’ 25 years ago from Alex Giladi, who was then the CEO of the Keshet television broadcaster.

Journalist Oshrat Kotler speaks at a conference in Jerusalem on March 23, 2014. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Kotler said after rebuffing Giladi’s entreaties to take her to dinner and telling him she was married, he said, “what does that have to do with it? You don’t know how you move up in Hollywood?”

Kotler, who said for her the incident was not harassment but still “indecent,” said she did not speak up about the incident earlier because she was worried about her career.

The allegations by German, Keshet and Kotler came on the heels of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and subsequent #Metoo campaign, which has also seen prominent Israeli women step forward to detail their past experiences of assault.

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