Most Of Israel’s 32 Women In Parliament Have Been Sexually Assaulted Or Harrassed

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, attends a session at the Knesset, Israel's parliament. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, attends a session at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Out of 32 female members of Israel’s parliament, called the Knesset, 28 say they have been sexually harassed or assaulted, and at least two say those experiences occurred in the Knesset itself, according to a new survey by an Israeli television channel.

The survey comes two weeks after 17 French members of parliament signed a column denouncing widespread sexual harassment and impunity in their workplace. In December, the Israeli interior minister and vice premier, Silvan Shalom, resigned after almost a dozen women, including one of his former employees, came forward with allegations of sexual harassment or assault.

The survey gave the lawmakers a chance to speak publicly about the perils of being a woman in Israeli politics.

“Even today, the fact that I’m a single woman in the Knesset puts me in unpleasant situations,” said Merav Ben Ari, a Knesset member from the centrist Kulanu political party. “Sometimes people make comments. … I don’t want to elaborate, but there was a situation recently in the Knesset, and I took care of it.”

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Almost all of Israel’s 32 women in parliament have been sexually harassed or assaulted

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