Zionist Union MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin on Wednesday said she accepted the apology of her fellow party lawmaker Eitan Broshi for touching her on the buttocks during a field trip by members of the opposition party.
Broshi was forced to apologize to her after the incident was witnessed by party leader Avi Gabbay, opposition whip MK Yoel Hasson, and others. Nahmias Verbin said when she initially demanded an apology following the incident, Broshi ignored her.
“I accepted MK Broshi’s apology, from a place of strength, of confidence, as one who knows she did nothing wrong,” wrote Nahmias-Verbin in a Facebook post on Wednesday evening. “I know how to accept apologies, and I chose to do so [here], even after the information was leaked. I accept his apology.”
The incident apparently occurred when Broshi tried to get Nahmias-Verbin to move aside while at a party event near the Gaza border last week.
In her post, the opposition lawmaker said she demanded Broshi apologize on the spot, but he “turned his back.” In her account, Nahmias-Verbin described the incident as disturbing and hurtful, and noted that an observer had rebuked her for failing to slap Broshi.
She later addressed the incident from the Knesset plenum and was met with warm support by her colleagues in parliament.
מפגן תמיכה. לאחר שדברה במליאה על פרשת ברושי זכתה ח"כ איילת נחמיאס ורבין לחיבוקים מכל חלקי הבית. צילום: מרק ישראל סלם @ pic.twitter.com/eGF51lZfBw
— arik bender (@arikbender) July 18, 2018
According to the reports, witnesses present said that Broshi initially did not understand that his actions were problematic.
“Shortly after the incident I apologized — a gesture that was supposed to be friendly was in fact completely the opposite. As soon as I understood the mistake, I apologized to her from the bottom of my heart,” said Broshi.
Female lawmakers defended Nahman-Verbias’ response and blasted Broshi.
“The sickening actions by MK Broshi has a name, it’s called an indecent act,” wrote fellow Zionist Union MK Shelly Yachimovich. “More seriously: Many saw, were silent, and even dared wonder, ‘why didn’t you slap him?’ (you do it, lowlifes). Now they’re criticizing her because she accepted his apology. Classic blame the victim.”
“Broshi, I disavow you and your ilk. Time’s up. With you, Ayelet,” Yachimovich wrote.
In a joint statement, Meretz MKs Tamar Zandberg and Michal Rozin also expressed their solidarity.
“We already know harassment doesn’t skip over strong women,” they wrote. “We condemn Eitan Broshi’s behavior and stand alongside Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin over the harassment she experienced and the way she chose to deal with it.”