PM’s top media adviser quits as Eshel case reaps latest victim (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Barak Ravid 02/22/12)
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s top media adviser has resigned
after Netanyahu said he had lost confidence him. The adviser, Yoaz
Hendel, is one of three top aides the prime minister has chided for
bringing sexual harassment allegations about another colleague
directly to the attorney general.
Hendel, who heads the National Information Directorate, tendered his
resignation on Monday. Bureau chief Natan Eshel, the subject of the
sexual harassment allegations, has already resigned. Eshel allegedly
harassed an employee at the Prime Minister’s Office, who has only
been identified as R.
Cabinet secretary Zvi Hauser is also expected to step down shortly.
On Monday, the prime minister met with Hendel, Hauser and the PM’s
military secretary, Yohanan Locker. Netanyahu is said to have told
the three that he had lost confidence in them for not informing him
of the allegations by the office worker. He chastised them for going
to Weinstein behind his back, as he was said to have put it.
“I’m disappointed that you didn’t share the information with me and
that you hid this from me for a month,” Netanyahu is said to have
told the three. “You should have come to me before and I would have
acted exactly as you did. I would have contacted the attorney general
“I would expect from you − as the people at the top staff level − to
share the information with me. I would have passed it on immediately
to be looked into. Just as it’s clear to me that every harassment
complaint needs to be seriously investigated, it’s impossible that I
have to learn from the media about something so central happening in
Hauser and Hendel told the prime minister they did not inform him
because they did not want to embroil him in the case. But Netanyahu
told them their argument wasn’t working and they had violated his
Hendel asked Netanyahu that his resignation come into force within 24
hours. The prime minister accepted the resignation, though Tuesday he
asked Hendel to defer it by several days until a replacement was
Locker was expected to leave the Prime Minister’s Office shortly in
any event to take up a new post in the Israel Defense Forces. Sources
at the Prime Minister’s Office say Hauser will soon resign. Tension
has been high between Netanyahu and Hauser and between Netanyahu and
Hendel, the sources said.
Some of this tension was evident at the beginning of Sunday’s cabinet
meeting when Netanyahu took Hauser to task in front of the cameras
because the cabinet room door had not been locked. “Didn’t you hear
me?” the prime minister asked Hauser. “I asked for this last time.
Carry it out and that’s that.”(© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 02/22/12)
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