(photo credit: YOUTUBE SCREENSHOT)
Prominent Israeli journalist and author Ari Shavit announced his resignation from the Israeli daily Haaretz and Channel 10 TV on Sunday as new allegations of sexual harassment surfaced.
On Sunday, an employee of the J Street lobbying group came forward as the second woman to accuse the writer of sexual misconduct.
The account of the incident, which occurred three years ago between Shavit and the 29-year-old J Street staffer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, was first published Sunday in The Jewish Daily Forward.
The revelation comes days after the senior Haaretz
columnist admitted that he was the Israeli journalist accused of sexually assaulting Jewish Journal reporter Danielle Berrin at his hotel in Los Angeles in a column she published last week.
Shavit said he was resigning from his positions in the media and was taking “full moral responsibility for my behavior.”
“I am ashamed of the serious mistakes I have made in my relations with people in general, and with women in particular,” Shavit said in a statement on Sunday. “I am ashamed that I have not behaved properly toward my wife and my children.
“In the past few days, I have realized that until now I was stricken with blindness,” he said. “For years, I did not understand what people were talking about when they spoke of privileged men who fail to see the damage they are causing others. I am now beginning to understand.”
Shavit said he was resigning in order to devote more time to his family and to make personal amends.
“I understand that such a process does not occur overnight and I am committed to carrying it out genuinely and uncompromisingly,” he said.
“I will do everything in my power to ensure that I will never again have to be ashamed of my actions.”
The second accuser recounted an incident in April 2014, when she was sent to pick up Shavit from the Baltimore train station and drive him to speak at a J Street event at Johns Hopkins University.
According to the woman, who was 26 years old at the time, she said Shavit suggested they grab coffee together before the event. Halfway into their conversation, he proceeded to rub her hand in a manner she described as “hand groping.”
The woman further said that Shavit expressed an interest in meeting her in Israel alone over drinks, and he called her cellphone later that evening expressing regret over not being able to spend more time together.
The J Street staffer said she was inspired to come forward and share her story after hearing about Berrin’s account of being sexually assaulted.