Colette Avital, left, and late prime minister and president Shimon Peres

Former MK claims late president Shimon Peres sexually assaulted her in the 80s

Erstwhile senior diplomat Colette Avital alleges Peres forcibly kissed her during a work meeting while he was serving as PM and assaulted her at a Paris hotel several years earlier

Ynet |
Published: 10.07.21, 19:26
Colette Avital, a former MK for the Labor Party and former Israeli consul-general to New York, claimed on Thursday that the late president and prime minister Shimon Peres sexually assaulted her in the 1980s.
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  • In an interview with Haaretz daily, Avital said that the first incident took place in 1984 after she returned from a diplomatic mission in Paris. Peres, who was serving as prime minister at the time, called her to his office to discuss her candidacy for the position of the prime minister's chief media advisor.
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    שמעון פרס ואביטל קולט
    שמעון פרס ואביטל קולט
    Colette Avital, left, and late prime minister and president Shimon Peres
    (Photo: Israel National Library)
    As she got up to leave, Avital said, "he suddenly pressed me against the door and tried to kiss me."
    Avital said she pushed him away and left the room, "and my legs were shaking when I left."
    "It disgusted me," she said. "Five minutes earlier, he said I couldn't work for him because I was a woman and 'what will people say.'"
    Avital said she avoided him for nearly two years after the incident.
    In the interview, she told of a prior incident that took place while she was still stationed in Paris.
    Peres, who served as opposition leader at the time, invited her to dine with him in his hotel room and greeted her in his pajamas.
    According to Avital, Peres attempted to push her on the bed but she resisted and stormed out of the room.
    She recalled telling then-Peres aide Yossi Beilin, who later served as justice minister, that the next time his boss came to Paris "I will not be left alone with him.”
    Replying to a Ynet request for comment, Beilin denied claims.
    Avital said that she continued to work closely with Peres because she did not believe he would try to make sexual advancements towards her again.
    "I quite admired him at that time, both in terms of his thinking and talent and creativity. For me, he was a model for an open-minded Israeli statesman. Because I accompanied him closely even after this event, and he did not try after that time in Paris, I did not think it would happen again."
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