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October 31, 2016 8:06 am

Why Ari Shavit Should Have Been Discredited, But Wasn’t

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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Ari Shavit. Photo: Book jacket.

Ari Shavit. Photo: Book jacket.

It is an astounding commentary on our times that Israeli journalist Ari Shavit has been shamed publicly – to the point of losing his livelihood — for making unwanted passes at two women, when the best-selling author of My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel was outed two years ago for the book’s lies about the Jewish state.

Though the latter was and should have been cause for Shavit to be discredited professionally, nobody blinked an eye at that travesty, detailed so beautifully by Mideast expert Martin Kramer in Mosaic Magazine in 2014.

On the contrary, Shavit suffered no consequences when Kramer exposed his false narrative. You know, the one that kept the awards, lecture-circuit gigs and accompanying cash flowing like a brook on a spring day.

As Kramer put it, “Beyond Shavit’s powerful writing style and engaging personal manner,” what he really achieved was an “artfully mixed effect” of “confessing Israel’s sins in order to demonstrate the tragic profundity of his love.”

Kramer went on to dissect the 30-page chapter — titled “Lydda, 1948” – “concern[ing] an alleged massacre of Palestinian Arabs that preceded an act of forcible expulsion” – refuting its errors and highlighting the questionable research behind it.

This did not put a dent in Shavit’s busy schedule as a columnist and editorial board member at Haaretz; a regular panelist on Israel’s Channel 10; and a perpetual traveler to conferences abroad, where he was given standing ovations and hosted by lots of prominent and wealthy Jews, thrilled to be provided with the excuse to bash Israel while professing to be on its side.

My own experience of Shavit over the years has been indirect – watching him on podiums and TV, and hearing his praises sung — so I cannot offer any personal stories about being groped by him. Which is kind of unfortunate, because nothing enhances a woman’s career these days like an unrequited kiss-and-tell involving a public figure. And I have to say that I’m sorry to have missed that particular boat, because if I had a nickel for every time an Israeli, celebrity or not, behaved like a cave man, I’d be a billionaire by now.

Sadly, however, I was raised in a culture of rabid feminism, a movement that shouted from the rooftops of the western world that women are equal to men in every respect, including sexually. We were taught the mantra that if it weren’t for the pink blankets in which we were wrapped when we were born and the Barbie dolls we were forced to play with by the patriarchy, we would be taking our rightful place in bedrooms and boardrooms alike. We did not need male protection in the bank or on the battlefield. We sure as hell weren’t supposed to let a date open a door for us or pay for our dinner.

So the idea that I or my female counterparts would be incapable of handling a guy like Shavit is laughable. Though he is rumored to spend a lot of time at the gym working on his abs, he’s no Arnold Schwarzenegger. And one gets the sense that he would prefer to avoid brawls so as not to muss up his carefully coiffed hair.

This is not to say that I don’t believe in actual sexual assault. It’s just that what the Jewish Journal’s Danielle Berrin and an anonymous J Street employee revealed about Shavit falls short of it. Nor do I think that the women in question are to blame for the smarmy and repulsive way he behaved towards them, no matter how sexy-looking they are. But come on, girls, ask all the Palestinian women for whom your hearts bleed what a true patriarchy looks and feels like.

As for Shavit, he is clearly as clueless about seducing women – a piece of cake for a famous writer — as he is disingenuous about his politics. His disgrace for the latter was long in coming. Too bad nobody will remember that part of his downfall.

Ruthie Blum is the managing editor of The Algemeiner.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • Reggie Green

    He’s no dummy. He knew how to make the big bucks by writing in English and distorting the facts to appeal to the left wing American Jewish audience.

  • Is this typical Haaretz policy? Because,

    the Israeli daily HaAretz is owned 20% by the Teutonic publishing house M. Dumont Schauburg. Information regarding the relations with Nazis in Germany and anti-Semitic activities are available in the German language Wikipedia.

    HaAretz is notorious regarding its biased pro-Falastinian policy. Namely two
    journalists, Gideon Levy and Amira Hass, are known for their defaming and
    demonizing of the Jewish State Israel.

    All above information is publicly available in the Internet.

  • redwood05090

    Anyone who watched Friday news on both main Israeli T.V channels, could not help bu see the Lefty visage of the pompous, loud, creepy, hyperventilating Haaretz’ freeloader, Mr. Shavit. He pretended all these years to play the mature, grown- up among the panelists, he was the voice of reason, the un-unhinged Lefty, the one member of the seditious Haaretz team who was not as bad as Gideon Levy, a notorious and reviled Quizling, he had a niche.. but anyone with affinities to Israel whoalso read Haaretz over the years, knows better,Mr. Shavit was always speaking to a very narrow segment of the Israeli elite, the “intelligencia”, the educated left, the declining Kibbutzniks, the majority that became a minority , the ones who lost power and the majority in May 1977 and never recovered, (It was a sight to behold, something similar to the Reagan victory, 1980) , later the blew two more opportunities, crafted with alliances with Arab MK’s who promised not to topple their appeasing coalition, which eventually collapsed anyway, 1995, 2000. The entitled lefties speak to the media elite, hedge funds, start-uppers, not to the real majority but to the the cosmopolitans, the Techies, the teachers, professors, to what remains of the Kibbutzim, the ethnic make-up changed. The crowd Shavit and the declining Haaretz is preaching to, is a diminishing asset. He was so cocksure of himself, so confident of his righteous stance, it never occurred to him, that few cared to look at his pasty, sweating visage nor hear his sermonizing long winded lectures. I cannot feel sorry for him because he is an arrogant fool. He was exposed by accident, Ms. berrin, not the best writer in L.A wanted to climb on the Anti trump Train, and used his suffocating carcass fro the purpose. serves him right. As the Pink Floyd song unfold: Hey teacher, leave the kids alone… can’t he conduct a dialogue with an attractive young reporter without squeezing the charmins?

    • retired22

      Wait till Donald Trump wins next week, will be the second shot heard around the world coming out of America!
      It will give hope to all the ordinary people around the world that they too can at last be free of the self righteous priests of the fading religion of Humanism that many call Socialism!