Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Watch Live


Israeli President Under Fire in Harrassment Probe

Israeli police are questioning President Moshe Katzav about allegations of sexual harassment of a female employee in his office. Katzav denies the charge and others leveled against him, and he is resisting demands that he resign or take a leave of absence while the investigation continues.

A woman in Katzav's office, known only by her initial A., says Katzav exploited his power as her employer to force her to have sex with him. Since the original allegations, two other female employees have come forward with similar complaints. One of the women charges Katzav also accepted bribes for issuing pardons.

Katzav has denied all of the allegations and accused A. of attempting to blackmail him.


Katzav is not the only senior Israeli official under fire at present. Earlier this week, Justice Minister Haim Ramon resigned after being indicted for indecent assault. And Israel's chief of staff has come under criticism for selling a stock portfolio hours before the war in Lebanon began.

In addition, the head of parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee is being investigated for placing cronies in senior government positions. And police are also looking into whether Prime Minister Ehud Olmert received a hefty discount on the price of an apartment in Jerusalem in exchange for loosening zoning regulations.

The allegations against the President Katzav come as Olmert's government faces mounting criticism over its handling of the war against Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon.

Olmert is under growing pressure to appoint a state commission of inquiry that would have the power to dismiss both political and military officials.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit