Activists Demand Suspension of Army Radio Presenter

Irit Linur called student compensated for harassment claim against lecturer a 'whore'

Twenty feminist organizations and activists appealed yesterday to the chief of staff's adviser for women's affairs, demanding a public apology and the suspension of an Army Radio presenter. The presenter, Irit Linur, had called a university student a "whore" after she won damages in a harassment claim against a lecturer.

Last week, Haaretz reported that Hebrew University compensated student Ortal Ben-Dayan NIS 38,000 for the "disruption caused to her studies." Ben-Dayan complained that one of her lecturers, sociology professor Dr. Gideon Aran, had engaged in a romantic relationship with her and after it ended proceeded to harass her for two years.

The mediated agreement between the university and Ben-Dayan, as well as previous disciplinary action on the matter, officially acknowledge the veracity of her complaint. This even includes a recognition of responsibility on the part of Aran in the "details of the plea bargain," where he admitted to unbecoming conduct.

On her Army Radio program "The Final Word," Linur criticized Aran, but also said of Ben-Dayan: "The student, who isn't a minor and wasn't born yesterday, was having an affair with her married lecturer. In my [opinion], this is called being a whore... You're messing with a married man and then you go crying that he didn't treat you well... The punishment of a girl who messes with a married man is that she later eats dirt."

Ben-Dayan and other sources told Haaretz that during the relationship in question, Aran was separated from his wife.

According to the letter sent yesterday to the chief of staff's women's affairs adviser, Brig. Gen. Gila Kalifi-Amir, "Linur based most of her 'manifesto' on the 'false claim' of Aran being married, which has no connection to reality. Linur's expressions are dangerous to any young female soldier and all women, wherever they are.

"A female soldier exposed to the bizarre and offensive content of the program can easily conclude that if she has been sexually harassed by a man, especially a married man, she better not think about complaining or reporting it, because this would result in her being labeled a 'whore' by the institutions of the military system," the letter said.

Linur said yesterday in response that "while the expressions I used may not have been elegant, there is a moral flaw to adultery."

Army Radio said it had yet to receive the letter, and would respond to it once it is received.