Long-term couple and morning TV stalwarts Orly Vilnai and Guy Meroz have pulled out of the Women's Festival in Eilat next month due to the participation of singer Eyal Golan, who has been accused of having sex with underage girls. Golan was questioned by police over the allegations in November of last year. He has denied all the claims, which were also leveled against his father.
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Vilnai and Meroz were set to take part in the festival, but dropped out when they discovered that Golan was also to appear. They posted their decision on their Facebook page, and urged their followers to push to get Golan ousted from the festival.
"Friends, we need your help," read the Facebook post, apparently penned by Meroz. "It became clear to us – Orly and myself - that we are to appear at a festival on empowering women in Eilat, and by our side will be none other than Eyal Golan! Of course, we cancelled but now we need more public pressure to get the (organizers) to cancel the chauvinistic presence of this singer at a festival for women."
They also called on other public figures to cancel, or demand that Golan be uninvited.
Golan reacted furiously, with his lawyer demanding that Meroz and Vilani remove the post, issue a public apology and pay the singer half a million shekels in damages.
According to the Israeli media, Meroz has insisted that the two stand by their comments, saying that even if Golan's alleged activities were not considered illegal, his behavior was still damaging as he "objectified women". He stressed, however that they were not calling for a boycott of Golan.
This is not the first time that Golan has been declared persona non grata due to the allegations. Earlier this month, the Jewish Community Center in San Diego cancelled his concert following pressure from members.