Berrin slams Ari Shavit for not apologizing for ‘committing sexual assault’
Jewish-American reporter Danielle Berrin slammed prominent Israeli journalist Ari Shavit for not admitting and apologizing for allegedly sexually assaulting her.
“As recounted in my article, he engaged in physically aggressive behavior — grabbing the back of my head, lurching at me for a kiss, pulling and pawing at me, and pressuring me to enter his hotel room,” she wrote in a response published Friday in the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles.
She added: “Throughout our interaction, he touched me in ways I did not want to be touched, and he caused me to fear for my safety.”
Shavit issued a statement last week in response to Berrin’s account confirming that the two met in 2014, but saying he had thought of their interaction as constituting “courtship” or “flirtation” but not sexual assault.
“I apologize from the depths of my heart for this misunderstanding,” he said.
Berrin slammed Shavit’s statement.
“That Shavit would claim it was ‘flirtation’ is not only misguided, it suggests I was participating in his scheme when, indeed, I was the victim; I was afraid he’d further assault me if I did not escape,” she wrote.
She continued: “I am glad Ari Shavit has at least acknowledged an encounter took place. … But Ari Shavit has yet to apologize for what he actually did; he did not apologize for committing sexual assault.”
Berrin did not identify Shavit by name in her original account, but her descriptions of the person she accused of assaulting her as “an accomplished journalist from Israel” with dark hair and eyes who had recently published an influential book led to widespread speculation that it was about Shavit.
British Jews call for action against ‘violent’ anti-Israel protesters at London college
The representative body of British Jews called on the University College London to sanction students who disrupted an event organized by supporters of Israel.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews issued its statement last week about an event at UCL the previous night in which “a hate-filled mob supporting the worst kind of extremism in the Middle East once again trampled on free speech at a leading UK campus,” the board’s vice president, Marie van der Zyl, wrote in a statement.
The police were called and the venue was changed several times as pro-Palestinian activists shouted slogans that prevented the event from starting, and then physically blocked the entrance to prevent the audience and organizers from leaving, according to the board.
“We deplore the aggressive and intimidating protests,” van der Zyl said of the incident, which Devora Khafi, campus director of StandWithUs UK, described as anti-Semitic.
“Last night I and fellow students were barricaded in by violent extremists,” Khafi wrote in a separate statement, detailing how she experienced the event. “Students under threat, holed up in a room, facing abuse and violence — just because they are Jewish.”
The event was organized by UCL Friends of Israel Society and King’s College London’s Israel Society with speaker Hen Mazzig, an Israeli peace activist. A few dozen students showed up for the event, as did a similar number of protesters.