Hillel Student Group Suspends Ari Shavit's Campus Tour

Haaretz columnist issued apology following American journalist's accusation: I didn't think I committed sexual harassment.

Ari Shavit and Danielle Berrin.
Chandler West for IRL Productions, Danielle Berrin's twitter

Jewish student organization Hillel International has suspended Haaretz columnist Ari Shavit's campus tour following accusations of sexual harassment.

"In light of recent circumstances, and in keeping with our strong position against sexual assault, Hillel International has suspended Ari Shavit’s campus tour," the organization said in a Facebook statement posted on Friday.

In an article published last week in The Jewish Journal, titled "My sexual assault, and yours: Every woman’s story," Jewish-American journalist Danielle Berrin accused a prominent, unnamed, Israeli writer – later identified as Shavit –of sexually harassing and assaulting her as she tried to interview him in the recent past at an American hotel lobby.

Shavit issued a statement of apology on Thursday: "More than two and a half years ago, in February 2014, I met with Danielle Berrin in Los Angeles for a conversation. Today, I sadly understand that I misconstrued the interaction between us during that meeting."

"Prior to reading Berrin's article, I thought that we had had a friendly conversation that included some flirtation," he said. "I did not for a moment think it involved any sexual harassment. But what I saw as flirtation, Berrin saw as inappropriate, even harassing behavior on my part."

"As a person who deeply respects every woman and every human being, and as a person who abhors any form of sexual harassment, I apologize from the bottom of my heart for this misunderstanding. I did not mean to say anything unwelcome to Berrin, and I certainly never meant to cause her distress or hurt her feelings," Shavit said.