Journalist Ari Shavit announced he is canceling his participation at a New York event after two women came forward with new allegations of sexual misconduct, the magazine Jewish Currents reported on Friday. When contacted by the magazine, Shavit did not deny the allegations. According to JTA, 92nd Street Y, the Jewish center which was planning to host the event featuring Shavit, has removed it from its website.
According to Jewish Currents, the new alleged incidents took place in 2014 and 2015. One of the women, Amna Farooqi, told the magazine that in October 2015, while she was head of J Street U's national student board, Shavit approached her during an event at the University of Maryland to promote his book 'My Promised Land.'
"At the end of the conversation, we stood up, and while shaking hands, he leaned towards my face," said Farooqi, who was 22 at the time. "I turned my head, and he was kissing the side of my mouth. I said nothing. I felt weird. I didn’t feel assaulted, I just kept thinking, ‘that was weird.’”
The second allegation reported in the magazine refers to an incident that took place in January 2014 at Brandeis. The woman, Catriona Stewart, was 20 at the time and served as a J Street U student leader. According to Stewart, Shavit approached a group of students to in order to take a photograph. “I was excited to take a picture with him," she said. "He had signed my book, and as I stood next to him for the picture he started to move his hand, rubbing me along my lower back it was touchier than I’d ever experienced from an adult I didn’t know."
In October 2016 Shavit announced his resignation from Haaretz and Channel 10, after Jewish-American journalist Danielle Berrin accused him of trying to forcefully kiss and touch her during an interview. Following Berrin's accusation, a J Street staffer said Shavit 'groped' her hand and tried to call her afterwards several times.
Following the allegations, Shavit told Jewish Currents he “left the public arena” more than a year ago to “begin a deep process of reckoning and self-reflection.” He added:“I continue to take responsibility for my actions. I’ve asked forgiveness from those whom I hurt and I am profoundly sorry for the pain I have caused.”
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