Two of Israel’s leading media personalities have stepped aside in the wake of allegations of sexual harrasment or assault in less than 48 hours this week.
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Journalist and radio host Gabi Gazit announced on Thursday that he would take a temporary leave of absence from Radio 103FM after being confronted with a new batch of allegations of sexual harassment on top of a previous accusation by Channel 2 news anchor Dana Weiss that he had sexually harassed her.
One of Gazit’s former co-workers at Radio 103FM, Rachel Fisch Ben-Yisrael, said that he warned her not to file a complaint against him after she stopped his unwanted touches. He later blocked her appearances as his replacement by telling the producer that her work wasn’t good enough. When she explained the situation to the producer he replied that there was nothing he could do.
The station manager said he was investigating the claims.
Another co-worker, Shinrit Skornick, who worked with Gazit 13 years ago, also testified on Thursday that Gazit had sexually harassed her. She responded on Facebook to Gazit’s denial of harassing Dana Weiss, saying that he was shameless and a liar, since he had done the same to her, kissing her on the lips against her will.
An additional woman who rented an apartment from Gazit also testified that he had kissed her against her will when she came by to make a payment.
On Wednesday, Gazit totally denied the allegations made by Weiss earlier. On Thursday morning, Weiss repeated in an interview that Gazit had kissed her on an almost daily basis, every time they met in a hallway. She added that he was not the only person who had harassed her at Channel 2 news, but would not reveal the identity of the other person since he was no longer alive.
Gazit's downfall comes one day after television personality Alex Gilady announced Wednesday morning in a statement that he would temporarily step aside from his position at Keshet in order to fight allegations of rape, which he called “unsubstantiated claims.”
Gilady, who founded the Israeli television broadcaster Keshet, has stopped serving as its president, said a senior executive of the broadcaster on Wednesday. Gilady served as a senior executive of NBC in the United States in the ’80s and ’90s, rising to the post of senior vice president. He also sits on the International Olympics Committee.“I’m temporarily stepping aside from my position at Keshet until my innocence is proved. I will fight to prove my innocence against these unsubstantiated claims,” Gilady said. “I reiterate that the allegations are false and I will take the necessary legal steps against these false accusations.”
However, the chairwoman of the board of Keshet, Drorit Wertheim, stated it clearly: Gilady is no longer serving as president as of Wednesday morning. “This is not a temporary decision,” added the Keshet senior executive.
The initial accusations of improper sexual advances came from Haaretz columnist Neri Livneh and Channel 10 television journalist Oshrat Kotler. On Tuesday, three women accused Gilady of raping them in the 1970s and ’90s. One told Haaretz that Gilady raped her when he was her boss on a television project in the late ’70s. He had asked her to pick up some material from his house, she said, and he attacked her when they arrived there.