US reporter alleges sexual assault by prominent Israeli journalist

Danielle Berrin says married writer touched, grabbed her, tried to convince her to come up to his hotel room

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Danielle Berrin (Facebook)
Danielle Berrin (Facebook)

A Jewish journalist from Hollywood has shaken the Israeli media establishment with a personal account of how a prominent Israeli writer sexually assaulted her during an interview with him several years ago.

Danielle Berrin, a senior writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, published an article last week titled “My sexual assault, and yours: Every woman’s story,” detailing how the man, a husband and father, grabbed at her and then tried to persuade her to come up to his hotel room.

Berrin declined to name her alleged attacker but peppered her published account with clues to his identity, describing the man as having dark eyes and black hair and as “an accomplished journalist from Israel” who was on tour promoting a book he had written that was “having an impact on the Jewish conversation.”

Berrin says after showing up for the interview at the journalist’s hotel — at 10 p.m. due to his busy schedule — he began asking her probing questions about her personal life and relationship status, and then after she answered one question “in a way that moved him” he “lurched at me like a barnyard animal, grabbing the back of my head, pulling me toward him. ”

Berrin said she protested, pointing out that her assailant was married, to which he responded, “We have an arrangement.”

When she further mentioned his children, he told her, “Yes, and I’m not done yet.”

He then tried to convince her to come up to his room, “just for a minute.” She declined, after which he assured her, “We don’t have to have sex, I just want to give you a hug.”

Berrin wrote that she decided to leave, but the man insisted on walking her to her car and asked for a parting hug.

“I’ll spare you the details of that hug, but suffice it to say, he was undeterred,” Berrin wrote.

After the publication, a second US Jewish journalist, Avital Chizhik, alleged on Twitter that she too was sexually assaulted by “another Israeli media personality,” though she did not give details.

Berrin wrote that she was bringing up the story to add her voice to those of other women who have been assaulted and now feel compelled and able to speak up in light of the allegations of sexual assault made against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, but indicated she was not considering naming or pressing charges against the man.

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