Top Israeli journalists accused of sexual harassment

While being interviewed on the radio, journalist and radio host Gabi Gazit said that he "probably stroked a woman's bottom 45 years ago."

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November 7, 2017 18:14
2 minute read.
Journalist and radio host Gabi Gazit

Journalist and radio host Gabi Gazit. (photo credit: NITZAN HAFNER/ WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

 
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Continuing a wave of allegations of sexual harassment against media figures in the past week, journalist Dana Weiss spoke out against journalist and radio host Gabi Gazit on Tuesday.

Weiss, writing on Twitter, posted a screenshot of an article in Maariv from Sunday with the headline “Gabi Gazit: I probably stroked a woman’s bottom 45 years ago.”

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The article in question was quoting Gazit, an anchor on FM 103 radio, in a discussion about the veracity of allegations of sexual harassment from decades ago.

“Think hard, Gabi Gazit,” Weiss wrote along with the screenshot. “Even 15 years ago you did it. And more. Like for example insisting on kissing on the mouth when meeting in the hallway in the office. Why? Because. Because you could. Routinely.”

Weiss, Channel 2 News’ chief political analyst, also hosts a show for the network on Saturdays. In the past Gazit hosted a news program on Channel 2.

Gazit, 76, was discussing on his radio show the recent accusations against Alex Gilady, the president of the Keshet media company. Last week journalist Oshrat Kotler accused Gilady of making an “indecent proposal” to her over the phone in the ’90s, and on Sunday reporter Neri Livneh said he exposed himself to her in his home in 1999.

Speaking on Sunday, Gazit said: “I have no doubt that soon enough someone will tell a story about me from 45 years ago, I’m ready for it.” He added that “Last night, I told my son, ‘Get ready, because, if we’re talking about stories from 50-60 years ago, I’m next in line.’”

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Keshet employee Yoram Zack, who used to be the director and producer of Big Brother, was also called out this week for explicit emails he sent to the entire staff seven years ago.

Keshet did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday about the future of Gilady and Zack with the company. On Monday the chairwoman of the company’s board of directors called Gilady’s behavior “upsetting and painful” and promised to address it “as soon as possible.”

On Tuesday, Keshet’s CEO, Avi Nir, sent an internal email to Keshet employees that was published by local media. In it, Nir said the company is going through “hard days,” and that it must and will address the actions attributed to it.

Gilady himself said the interaction with Livneh was a private matter, and he never intended any harm.

On Tuesday, Livneh also leveled an accusation against veteran TV host and journalist Haim Yavin. Speaking on Israel Radio’s Reshet Bet, Livneh said she arrived to a work meeting with Yavin, “and he looked me up and down.” Then, she said, he told her “that if we’re friends, very good friends, I could have a good job for you.”

Yavin, 85, is largely retired. Last year he was the subject of similar accusations from employees of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, where he spent most of his career. One accused him of groping her in the office. Both last year and on Tuesday, Yavin denied that the interactions ever took place.

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