Chairwoman of Labor
Party Shelly Yachimovich
addressed the issue of sexual harassments during a speech at a women's business conference on Friday, against the backdrop of former Military Intelligence Chief Uri Sagi's decision to drop out of the party's primaries following an alleged harassment complaint.
"There's a small group of people with skewed ethics, who commit these acts for many years, leaving a trail of victims behind," Yachimovich said. "I believe this is an important issue to stress, especially at this time," she said, likely implying to Sagi's rumored sex scandal.
"Almost every woman among us have gone through something similar, be it harassment or rape… We have a moral obligation to enforce the law in these cases and make sure justice is done."
However, Yachimovich also said that no victim should be forced into filing a complaint: "We need to keep the victim's personal interest in mind; she had already lost control (of the situation) once, and we can't let it happen again… If she allows us, we need to do our best to tell her story and to make sure the person who did this to her knows it hasn't been forgotten.
"The perpetrator can be a respected member of the community – a Rabbi, a politician, an IDF commander…the women often fear that the system will back him. This is where we must demonstrate our leadership skills," the Labor chairwoman said.
Yachimovich added that usually it only takes one complaint to make other women come forward: "We've witnessed this phenomenon in various sexual harassment cases in recent years, including those of Moshe Katsav
and Itzik Mordechai,
where women only got the courage to speak up after realizing the same thing happened to someone else…and we are witnessing this phenomenon happening as we speak."
Shahar Chai is a Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth correspondent