Sexual Misconduct Case Against Netanyahu Spokesman Keyes Closed
The Civil Service Commission said Thursday it had closed the case against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman for the foreign media, David Keyes, who had been accused by at least 14 women of sexual misconduct.
The allegations led Keyes to take leave from his post and he reportedly will resign.
“There is no evidence or even a snippet of evidence to indicate a disciplinary offense or an act that constitutes sexual harassment by Keyes during the time he served as a civil servant,” the commission said in a letter.
The commission added that the decision “does not determine anything regarding other questions that were raised concerning the allegations against Keyes, including the question of whether he is fit to serve in his role (which is under the authority of the Prime Minister’s Office).”
According to a report last week by the Israel Television News Company, formerly Channel 2 News, Keyes is expected to resign from his position even if the case would be closed.
The commission said the incidents allegedly took place before Keyes became a civil servant, except for one that reportedly took place outside the employment setting. According to the commission, that encounter did not amount to sexual harassment.
Referring to that incident, the woman told the news website The Times of lsrael that Keyes had acted aggressively toward her.
The commission also decided that there were no disciplinary issues regarding the conduct of Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, who knew of complaints against Keyes but failed to report them to Netanyahu’s office.
After Keyes started working at the office, Dermer approached Wall Street Journal reporter Bret Stephens, who told Dermer of Keyes’ allegedly problematic conduct with women. Dermer said he did not pass this information on because it had already been published in the media.
One of the allegations against Keyes had been published several years earlier, but Netanyahu did not respond.