Howard Gutman, Controversial Jewish Envoy to Belgium, Denies Hooker Claim

Blamed Israel-Palestine Dispute for Fanning Anti-Semitism

getty images

By JTA

Published June 11, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The U.S. ambassador alleged in State Department memos to have solicited prostitutes, including minors, was embroiled two years ago in a controversy over Israel.

A whistleblower who worked for the State Department’s Inspector General office claimed that higher-ups quashed an investigation into Howard Gutman, the U.S. ambassador to Brussels, the New York Post reported on Tuesday. Some of the findings were first reported by CBS.

An agent for the department’s Bureau of Security “began his investigation and had determined that the ambassador routinely ditched his protective security detail in order to solicit sexual favors from both prostitutes and minor children,” said an internal memo by Aurelia Fedenisn, the Post reported.

Gutman, in a statement quoted by Foreign Policy magazine, called the allegations baseless.

“At no point have I ever engaged in any improper activity,” he said.

Gutman, the son of a Holocaust survivor, said in 2011 that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict contributes to manifestations of Muslim anti-Semitism in Europe, prompting calls for his ouster by Republican candidates for the presidency.

Gutman, who is popular in Belgium, is a lawyer who was a fundraiser for President Obama’s 2008 campaign. Appointing supporters to key overseas embassies is routine among U.S. presidents.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • Pierre Dulaine wants to do in his hometown of Jaffa what he did for kids in Manhattan: teach them to dance.
  • "The first time I met Mick Jagger, I said, 'Those are the tackiest shoes I’ve ever seen.'” Jewish music journalist Lisa Robinson remembers the glory days of rock in her new book, "There Goes Gravity."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.