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Israeli Politician: Netanyahu Must Recall Dermer Over Sex Assault Controversy

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must recall Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer over reports that he failed to pass along a warning that spokesman David Keyes posed a danger to women, a member of the Knesset said Sunday.

The New York Times reported Friday that columnist Bret Stephens, then with the Wall Street Journal, had warned Dermer in 2016 about spokesman David Keyes and his inappropriate behavior towards women, which Dermer admitted he did not share with the Prime Minister’s Office.

Keyes had been banned from the Journal’s offices because women had complained about his behavior toward them. He has since been publicly accused by more than a dozen women, including a former Wall Street Journal writer and New York state senate candidate Julia Salazar, of sexual assault and other misconduct.

“Bibi must return Ron Dermer to Israel immediately,” Karin Elharar of the centrist Yesh Atid party said Sunday, according to The Jerusalem Post. Elharar also wrote a letter to Netanyahu claiming that Dermer may have broken the law by not sharing what he heard with Netanyahu. “The message to Dermer and those like him should be clear: You were silent, now you pay the price,” Elharar wrote.

“If Stephens or anyone else had given the ambassador information about sexual assault or any other criminal act committed against women by anybody in the Prime Minister’s Office, whether they occurred before the person entered the position or after, he would have immediately informed the Prime Minister’s Office,” Dermer’s office said in a statement.

Keyes said in a statement on Thursday that he was “taking time off” to clear his name.

Contact Aiden Pink at [email protected] or on Twitter, @aidenpink

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