(JTA) — Benny Gantz, head of Israel’s new center-left Blue and White party challenging the hegemony of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyau, has filed a libel lawsuit against a woman living in the United States who accused him of exposing himself to her about 40 years ago.
Nava Jacobs, an Israeli who lives in New York, first charged on Wednesday in a Facebook post that Gantz exposed himself to her in a cowshed at the Kfar Hayarok boarding high school in Ramat Hasharon, bordering Tel Aviv, in the mid-1970s. A mutual male friend pulled her away from the situation, which she said “ruined my life.”
Gantz, who denies the allegations, filed the $142,000 libel lawsuit against Jacobs in Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court on Thursday. Jacobs responded on Facebook that she would sue him in the United States for sexual harassment.
The Hebrew-language news website Walla reported Thursday afternoon that Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev’s office spoke with Jacobs about a month before she made the allegation against Gantz and helped her to contact a journalist with the story. Regev is a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party.