Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom has resigned over accusations from several women that he sexually molested them, according to media reports. The 57-year-old man said on Monday in Tel Aviv that it had become necessary for him to resign, because the distress was becoming unbearable for him.
“I have had enough of the distress and I hope to protect my mother,
wife and five children from further scandal. “My family stands behind
me, but it is no longer worth the cost,” he said. Meanwhile, Israeli
Attorney-General, Yehuda Weinstein, has launched an investigation into
the claims, which forced Shalom out of the presidential race last year.
Shalom was a leading member of the ruling right-wing Likud party and
had previously served as foreign and finance minister. Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had tasked Shalom in May with leading
negotiations with Palestinians. The talks stalled last year and Shalom
had spoken out in the past against a Palestinian state.
Shalom was married to journalist Judy Nir-Moses, a member of one of
Israel’s most prominent families. Israeli newspaper Haaretz had reported
about accusations from a former colleague who accused Shalom of
attempting to touch her inappropriately. After the accusations became
public, other women stepped forward with similar allegations.
Meanwhile, politicians from the left-liberal opposition party, Merez,
welcomed the resignation as a “victory for public norms” that must be
followed by Israel’s political representatives.