35 thoughts on “BREAKING: Haaretz Reporter, Nir Gontarz, Accused of Partner Violence, Threatening Family Court Judge – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. I’m always amazed at the hubris and effrontery evinced by men, entitled men, throughout the world. And to Rich’s questions….it’s downhill from my first reaction.
    My dad, a BJ from U of MO, would be turning over in his grave these days…..

    1. However dispicable his behaviour may be here, he is far from being a rightwing fascist.
      His weekly column is one of the best features of Haaretz, he champions human rights and asks tough questions to politicians and civil servants usually from a leftwing bias.
      I would not be too quick to judge someone at a time of distress when visitation rights of children are at stake, especially not seeing both sides of the story. (Wrong behaviour, but maybe mitigating circumstances).
      I don’t think this is the typical macho Israeli that we all hate.

      1. When someone shows you who they are, believe them. The implicit threat to the judge isn’t the typical macho Israeli male we hate, I can agree with that. He’s suppose to be a professional journalist, not a wanna-be third-rate Stanley Kowalski.

      2. And even if he was the ‘typical macho Israeli that we all hate’, why not Richard occasionally writes something positive about an Israeli, someone with a good character, of which there are many here. I mean, let’s get real.

        What was it Nietzsche said?

        I totally agree with Shai about parents freaking out over visitation and custody.
        What ever happened to ‘taking a walk in another man’s moccasins’.
        Has that gone out of fashion?

        As for threatening a judge, if Gonzo Gontarz really said something threatening, on the record, or in earshot of an attorney or a court officer, he’d have been handcuffed and jailed on the spot. I promise you.

        1. @ Amnon: It’s not my job to serve as a cheerleader for Brand Israel. Israel has bought enough favorable media publicity to fund a thousand F-35 purchases. If that’s what you need or expect I suggest you’re in the wrong place.

          And BTW, I don’t walk in the moccasins of sexual predators. I walk in the moccasins of victims of sexual abuse. You clearly don’t. But I suggest that you do better at seeing and understanding a female victim’s point of view.

          Shpurer does indeed suggest that the judge should have reported Gontarz to the police rather than resign from the case. But if she had reported him she would have become entangled in a long process of filing police reports, being questioned by the police and state prosecutor, then testifying if there had been a trial on the charges. She didn’t want to go through the hassle and I don’t blame her. It was easier for her to hand the case off to a male judge who not only wouldn’t take Gontarz’s shit, but who Gontarz wouldn’t dream of treating in the same shabby fashion.

          1. You don’t need to cheerlead for Israel, but for the sake of your soul you should at least try to find some good in Israelis.
            There is a wealth of it, IF you make the effort.

            Ah..heres the quote:

            “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.” -Friedrich Nietzsche.

          2. @ Amnon:

            for the sake of your soul you should at least try to find some good in Israelis. There is a wealth of it, IF you make the effort.

            I’m truly touched about your concern for the sake of my soul. But you’re not looking for someone to “find the good in Israelis.” You’re looking for promotion of Brand Israel. Those are two different things.

            This blog has profiled a number of Israelis who I admire. But you seem to have missed that. I wonder why? At any rate, Israel is far too dysfunctional and unjust to spend time cheering it on as you propose. It needs to face toughness and strong opposition to its policies, not kind or flattering words.

            I resent the insinuation that I am a monster. It is Israel’s polices which are monstrous. Not me. As for the abyss, if Israel falls into the abyss it will not take me with it.

          3. The abyss you stare into stares back into you, and scars your soul.

            Here are some examples to prove my point.

            Gonzo’s wife accuses him of assault, and you decide, without evidence, that Gonzo is sexually abusive.

            An Israeli businessman offers to help out his friend, a Jordanian royal, and you smear the Israeli as a being a Mossad asset and part of a coup attempt against the Jordanian monarchy.

            Port Beirut mysteriously explodes, and you claim, without a single shred of evidence, that Israel caused the explosion.

            Just three examples of how your reflexive and excessive animus unfairly hurts Israel and the lives and reputations of Israelis. 

          4. @ Amnon:

            The abyss you stare into stares back into you, and scars your soul.

            I didn’t realize you had such a poetic soul. But the only abyss I’m staring into is the abyss of misogyny bred into Israeli men and society in general.

            So now let’s put to rest the nonsense you’re peddling:

            Gonzo’s wife accuses him of assault, and you decide, without evidence, that Gonzo is sexually abusive.

            Be very careful of your claim “without evidence.” Everything I report is based on evidence. Everything. So if you make such a claim again I will moderate or ban you. In this case, the evidence is a police complaint filed by the abused partner. I assume police don’t take such a complaint without evidence. So this is the evidence. And another thing: believe women. Don’t believe men who are accused of violence or abuse. If you do, you are part of the problem. And I assure you based on your “contributions” here you are.

            An Israeli businessman offers to help out his friend, a Jordanian royal, and you smear the Israeli as a being a Mossad asset and part of a coup attempt against the Jordanian monarchy.

            I thought you Israeli patriots believed that being a Mossad agent or asset was something heroic and patriotic. But now you’re claiming that doing so is something to be shunned? Make up your mind. Furthermore, the Jordanian pal of the Israeli is being tried for mounting a coup. So if an Israeli is aiding a Jordanian in what state authorities claim is a coup attempt, I’d bet that the Israeli has very close ties to Israeli intelligence circles. He’s either doing so in an official or semi-official capacity; or else taking advantage of the circle of ex-security assets who engage in these sorts of mercenary projects. And believe me, there are literally thousands of such Israeli ex-generals and Shabak/Mossad officials making tens of millions in this business.

            Port Beirut mysteriously explodes, and you claim, without a single shred of evidence, that Israel caused the explosion.

            I made very clear that the “evidence” I used in my report was based on an Israeli journalist source who covers one of the major Israeli ministries. Whether you like it or not that is “evidence.”

            …excessive animus unfairly hurts Israel and the lives and reputations of Israelis.

            I have no animus against Israelis as a whole. My animus is reserved for those Israelis like you who apologize for, and promote apartheid and injustice. Do not exaggerate or distort my views. Do not mischaracterize them. You are on the verge of moderation. Consider this a warning.

            Do not post in this thread again.

      3. @ Shai: I never said a word about Gontarz’s politics and they are completely irrelevant in this case. Leftists like Laor can be serial rapists as well as right-wing fascists. In fact, in his case I’m sure Gontarz prides himself on his left-wing values and uses that as a shield to fend off attacks on his objectionable behavior toward women.

        No one, no man and no woman has a right to conduct themselves as Gontarz did toward this judge. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances may be. Judges are to be respected (though I have written many posts about judges who lost the right to be respected, but that is not the case here). Gontarz treated this judge the same way he treats all women. The status of his court case has little to do with his offensive behavior and must not be used as a defense to mitigate his offensive behavior.

        It is typical of male Israelis to react as you have. You see things from the male’s point of view and ignore completely the female point of view. That is why relations between genders are so fucked up in Israel as my scores of posts on this subject have shown.

  2. Thanks for this Richard. I had no idea and I liked to read Gontarz regularly. I did not know about the photo suspension thing from 2008 either. Clearly he has been sexually abusive, at least in that case and may have been violent at home. He sure has been using this as a thug.

    However, having read the Hamakom article after yours, I don’t see (yet) the connection between this current case and the culture of sexual harrasment in the workplace by the likes of the repulsive Laor and Shavit. Are you suggesting he sexually harrassed the judge ?

    please also allow me to suggest that you missed one of the major points of Shpurer’s article.

    Shpurer, I believe, hints that the Judge’s reason for resigning from the case may not be that she felt threatened:
    “אפשר לפרש את מעשיו של העיתונאי לחומרה, כניסיון להשפיע על התנהלות השופטת בתיק. אך קשה להבין מדוע חשה כה מאוימת. וחמור מכך, אם הרגישה כך מדוע לא הגישה תלונה במשטרה או בחרה להשאר על כסאה, ללא מורא ומבלי להכנע לאיומים.

    גם סגנית נשיאת בית המשפט השלום בתל אביב, השופטת מירה דהן, שאליה עבר התיק לקביעת שופט חדש, לא טרחה לתהות האם הגיוני ששופטת שחשה מאוימת תחליט לנוס מהתיק במקום להתמודד עם האיומים במישור המקובל, ואיזה מסר משדרת ההחלטה למי שיגיעו לאולמה של השופטת ולא יהיו שבעי רצון מהתנהלותה”

    From Gontarz’s response it seems clear that he was going after her professional conduct and the court’s management in ignoring that conduct at a systemic level, too.

    I am speculating that maybe he had a point and she resigned because she couldn’t stand his vulgar style in accusing her, but not because she really felt threatened sexually ?

    1. @playmobil: I am suggesting That Gontarz is a serial sexual harrasser and probably sexual predator as well. And that his behavior toward the judge was of a piece with his behavior toward all women. His approach is to dominate women. When a woman stands in his way, his response is aggression. The comments he wrote about her are nasty, crude, and offensive. I didn’t add any examples of it because Sharon didn’t include any and I’d have to get the court transcripts of the hearing to do so. But suffice to say I seriously doubt Gontarz would respond in this fashion to a male judge even if the rulings went against him.

      As for what Gontarz claims to have discovered about the female judge, that’s not relevant since he never published anything on That score. We don’t know what he discovered and whether her behavior amounted to anything that would be considered objectionable. I strongly doubt it.

      There is something you don’t understand about male predation and sexual violence. A woman doesn’t have to feel in imminent danger of being physically assaulted by a man to feel “threatened.” And a judge is in a particularly sensitive position. If a respondent reacts in the way Gontarz did, a judge feels that such an attack renders her incapable of being seen as an objective party. And a judge must always Be seen in this way. She determined it was the better that she resign the case and give it to a male judge. I don’t hold that against her whatsoever, though Shpurer and Globes did. On this one matter, I see things differently than they did.

  3. Richard, I’m always game for a little gossip but I don’t see what this has to do with the focus of your website on Israel’s National Security state. Perhaps you could write something on the Citizenship Law. That story has a better connection to the Security State than this matter.

    1. @ Yankel: I don’t think you fully understand the scope of this blog. It is not merely one That focuses on national security. It focuses on Israeli society in general: especially issues of violence and abuse of power and rights. That takes in national security, of course. But it also takes in the status of minorities and gender relations as well.

      1. Got it! Great, I’ll start thinking of your blog like the dual covers of the now deceased HaOlam Hazeh. We need more Uri Avnerys!

          1. “…Yes but without the pictures of naked women that “graced” Haolam Hazeh!…”

            But I read העולם הזה only for the articles, I swear 😉

    2. The status of minorities and gender relations are interrelated and in full connection with the Security state.

  4. Court proceedings are public in free countries with rare exceptions.

    The only reason that family courts are confidential is to protect the privacy of the family, and especially the children.

    Family courts are not confidential to protect the judges.

    1. @ No, I don’t think you got it: Family courts are not used to male respondents charged with violence against their spouses, who also threaten female judges.

      As for confidentiality: the male judge released the female judge’s name for precisely the reason you mentioned.

      1. [comment deleted: do not post duplicate comments or comments which essentially repeat an earlier comment.]

  5. My remark …
    Uncouth behavior, misogyny and rightwing fascism.
    Meant as an universal criticism of characteristics as in Trump, Netanyahu but also Erdoğan, Orbán, Kaczyński, Putin. Suppression of human rights. Conservatism and orthodoxy can’t escape enslaving other human beings.

    1. Well these named men Erdoğan, Orbán, Kaczyńsk and Putin did not create and run Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay etc numerous secret prisons around the world. Which country has the biggest prisoner population in the world? 2,3 million in USA. The amount of killed in Libya, Syria ,Iraq and Afghanistan can be counted in millions and refugees in tens of millions. The before unknown graveyards of thousands children around Anglo American religious “education centers” is something which isn’t a good “democratic” example. Gaza and Israeli Jewish superiority is not happening in an authoritarian dictatorship. It is easy to blame these less admired “Erdoğan, Orbán, Kaczyńsk and Putin”, but they are amateurs compared to any US president and Israeli leader during the past halve century. If all responsibility is projected to leaders in less democratic countries, why shouldn’t it be also done in so called democracies. Democracy and liberalism can’t escape enslaving other human beings when they do it in the grand scale.

      1. @ SimoHUrrta: I find your shilling for dictators, autocrats and murderers like Erdogan, Orban, Kacczynski and Putin to be deeply offensive.

        No one here is defending Israeli or US policies. So you’re barking up the wrong tree. No one here claims that the US or Israel are paragons of democracy. But to the extent that they engage in criminal acts they are betraying democracy and when that happens I attack them. But I will never let thugs like the ones you shill for off the hook either.

        And this is not an invitation to respond. Your comment was off topic as it is. Please stay on topic in future and do not drag in subjects that are not relevant to the post subject, even if a prior commenter has done so.

  6. Thank you for shedding light on this story. I am deeply disgusted by Haaretz editors hiding behind legal terminology and not letting all their chief male reporters out. I posted a comment on the Gontarz weekly ” on the line” with a link to this very article and it was deleted in less than 10 minutes. Soon after I got a call from Haaretz but didn’t take it. Shame on you Haaretz.

    1. ‘Hilla’ Thanks for posting the link. I saw it. I am curious – how do you know that the call that you didn’t answer was from Haaretz?

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