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Wednesday, October 13, 2021 

A religiously observant Israeli government minister turns out to be ignorant of gender bigotry

Elazar Stern, a religious politician who's part of Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party in the Knesset and a government minister, has been forced to forfeit candidacy for the Jewish Agency after it turned out he ignored complaints of sexual harassment in the army over 2 decades ago, and even reportedly shredded complaints that were made, according to at least 2 women who'd testified against him:
Intelligence Services Minister Elazar Stern, who was Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s preferred candidate for Jewish Agency chairman, on Tuesday said he is quitting the race following a scandal over his shredding of complaints in the IDF.

Stern was set to be interviewed by the 10-member Jewish Agency chairmanship selection committee on Wednesday, but he opted out in the wake of the scandal. [...]

Sources close to Stern said he had no intention of quitting the Knesset or his cabinet position. They said Lapid had given him his full support and did not pressure him to quit.

One of his opponents for the agency chairmanship responded that the heads of the government may have to decide on a new candidate before the decision is set to be announced in two weeks at the Jewish Agency Board of Governors meeting.

“This is a huge blow for Bennett, after he put his weight behind Stern,” the candidate said.
Yes, and also for Lapid, since Stern's part of his party. He should also quit the Knesset/government cabinet, because what he's led to is such an embarrassment, as is explained in the following report:
The outcry began when Stern, the coalition’s candidate to head the Jewish Agency, said in a radio interview on Sunday morning that he had “shredded many anonymous complaints” during his time as head of the IDF’s Manpower Directorate, indicating he was referring to claims of sexual assault as well.

In a damage control bid, Stern toured the major networks on Sunday evening, apologizing if his remarks had caused offense, and saying that none of the anonymous complaints he had shredded related to sexual assault.

However, a woman told Channel 13 news anonymously on Sunday evening that Stern, at the time the head of the IDF’s officers’ school, had warned her not to repeat allegations she’d raised against a noncommissioned officer, or else her life would be “dark and bitter.” Stern denied saying those words, but conceded that his treatment of the case “may not have been good.”

On Monday, Channel 13 aired the testimony of a second woman, now aged 49, who served as an officer at the IDF officers’ school, the military’s most significant educational institution, when Stern was its commander.

The woman, who had been in charge of dealing with sexual harassment cases at the time, said Stern had ignored complaints by herself and by others, alleging that the base had an “atmosphere of harassment, of touchy officers.”

She said she was “shocked” when Stern gave interviews Sunday night to all three major Israeli TV news networks, claiming he had never silenced sexual harassment complaints.

Stern’s office initially replied that “from the few details we were given, it seems like the case is familiar to Minister Stern and was directly and stringently handled by him. The [offending] officer was relocated and his service was shortened.”

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid initially backed Stern, a member of his Yesh Atid party, saying in a Monday statement: “Yesh Atid is a party where there is zero tolerance and zero backing for sexual harassment. We believe that women should be protected and allowed to complain in any way they see fit. If Stern had said he had shredded complaints about sexual harassment, we would have said goodbye to him later that day. He did not say that, and he does not believe in that.”
I think with this, Lapid's proven he's much too lenient, which doesn't serve his party's image well at all. A total hypocrite who'd surely rather scapegoat conservatives over the same issues.
During his radio interview Sunday, and with the conversation clearly focusing on claims of sexual assault, the minister replied several times “yes” to whether he’d shredded anonymous complaints. When asked if he was referring to women’s complaints specifically, Stern said he didn’t “remember exactly whether it was by women.”
Does that mean if men file the complaints, only then does it count? It's too muddled to comprehend coming from him. It's just a lot of baloney. In the end, what it does demonstrate is that Bennett's not the only religiously observant hypocrite on the block.

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