Two more women have complained that Dan Margalit sexually assaulted them a number of years ago, in the wake of testimonies of five other women who accused the veteran journalist of similar behavior in an expose in Haaretz on Tuesday.
One woman said Margalit had grabbed and tried to kiss her. The other woman said he had pushed her up against a wall.
The first woman said the assault occurred during an interview with Radio 103FM some 30 years ago. Margalit, a coworker at the time, drove her home. “He grabbed me, hugged me and tried to kiss me,” she said. “I told him that’s enough, but it didn’t help, he didn’t stop – even though it was clear that it was against my will. It was before #MeToo. I felt trapped. I pulled myself free and ran away from the car. Afterwards we never spoke again. He ignored me.”
The Walla web site published the testimony of a woman in the media who said Margalit assaulted her in the 1980s when she was on his show Erev Hadash.
“I was backstage. He saw me and came over. Suddenly he was pushing me with his entire body up against a wall. I had nowhere to run. It was a sexual assault. He asked me if we could set a time to meet. I was in shock. I pretended I hadn’t heard him.
“Then they called him in so he left and went inside,” she said.
The woman added that her friend, whose testimony hasn’t previously been published, described experiencing similar behavior by Margalit. “He did exactly the same thing,” she said.
Margalit has not responded to the additional allegations.
Former journalist Hannah Kim, the first to speak out against Margalit in Haaretz, explained her rationale for doing so. In an interview with Kan’s Reshet Bet, Kim said that both the incident with Margalit and another one in which she says former minister Haim Ramon tried forcefully to kiss her, had had a very significant impact on her. “With Dan Marglit it was something that upset me, I felt helpless,” she said. “It was a violent situation for me, very humiliating.”
Kim said she broke her silence “after reading something on Twitter about [Haaretz writer] Nir Gontarz. He wrote about a difficult incident of harassment he experienced as a youth.” Afterwards she said, “I decided that’s it, the time has come to stop the silence and to speak up. I cannot die without telling these stories.”
She was also encouraged to speak up by the #WhyIDidntReport campaign.
“When I read about friends and colleague speaking about it, it very much encouraged me,” she said. “I said, this is an opportunity – if not now then when.”
“I don’t see this as a war of the genders. It’s a war between fair and normative behavior and violence and doing whatever you want to someone’s body.”
In addition to Kim, four other women told Haaretz about similar behavior patterns by Margalit. Three of them alleged sexual assault and another complained of verbal assault. Kim and another woman took polygraph tests at Haaretz’s request and were found to be telling the truth.
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