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Israel Bar Association head resigns after accusations of sexual misconduct

Avi Himi allegedly fondled himself during a video call with a lawyer seeking his recommendation.

Israel Bar Association head Avi Himi speaks during a protest in Tel Aviv against the government's proposed judicial reforms, Jan. 21, 2023. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.
Israel Bar Association head Avi Himi speaks during a protest in Tel Aviv against the government's proposed judicial reforms, Jan. 21, 2023. Photo by Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90.

Israel Bar Association chief Avi Himi resigned on Tuesday after being accused of inappropriate sexual conduct.

Himi fondled himself during a video call with a lawyer seeking his recommendation to become a judge, Channel 13 reported on Monday night.

Police have opened an investigation into the matter.

“Himi, who has taken on the role of a preacher of morality in recent weeks, needs to do some deep soul-searching—and as a first step…to immediately announce his resignation,” National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, whose authority extends over the Israel Police, said earlier.

Himi, who has likened the government’s proposed judicial reforms to the Jan. 6, 2021, riots at the U.S. Capitol, denied the allegation.

“This is part of the poison machine of those who work to promote the coup d’état [the judicial reform]. We are witnessing the dangerous manner in which desperate politicians work to trample anyone whose opinion differs from theirs,” he said.

Last month, Himi announced that he would not run again to head of the association, ostensibly in protest of the judicial reform package.

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