Ari Shavit, an author and journalist for the Haaretz daily and Channel 10, announced he was quitting both positions after an American Jewish journalist says he sexually assaulted her during an interview two years ago.
“I’m embarrassed by the terrible mistakes that I made in personal relations, particularly with women,” Shavit wrote.
“I’m embarrassed that I did not behave properly towards my wife and children. I’m embarrassed by the consequences of my actions.”
“I take full responsibility for my actions and am ending my work at the Haaretz newspaper and Channel10. It is my intention to dedicate more of my time to my family, which is dearer to me than anything else, and to work to improve myself.”
Earlier this month Danielle Berrin described an encounter with an unnamed Israeli journalist in 2014.
“[H]e lurched at me like a barnyard animal, grabbing the back of my head, pulling me toward him,” Berrin wrote. “I turned my face to the left and bowed my head to avoid his mouth.”
When Berrin attempted to halt the advances by mentioning his wife and children, Shavit reportedly said he and his wife “have an arrangement,” and that he was “not done yet” fathering children.
Last Thursday Shavit stepped forward, acknowledging that he was the author in question, saying that the interview was held during a 2014 trip to the US to promote his book My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel.
While Shavit admitted the incident took place, he denied it constituted sexual assault, instead arguing it was “courtship” gone awry, apologizing for the “misunderstanding.”
“I completely misunderstood our interaction in that meeting,” wrote Shavit. “Until I read the article she published this week, I felt that we had a friendly meeting that included, among other things, elements of dalliance. I did not for a moment think that sexual harassment had occurred. But what I saw as courtship, Berrin saw as inappropriate behavior and even harassment from me."