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'Israel Hayom' fumes over U.S. money in Israeli politics

American-funded campaign to put Netanyahu into power complains that a campaign to remove Netanyahu from power received American funding.

By Shuki Tausig

Wednesday’s front page of Israel Hayom, the Netanyahu family mouthpiece owned and funded by American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, appeared seriously flustered by the news that a campaign to topple the prime minister enjoyed American resources.

According to the article in Israel Hayom, the U.S. State Department funded “One Voice” to the tune of $349,000 for politically neutral purposes, but that organization then made available the resources built with that money to another organization, V15, which used them for political purposes.

For comparison’s sake, Shlomo Ben-Zvi, Adelson’s former partner in establishing the free daily newspaper that preceded Israel Hayom, testified in a 2011 legal battle between the two men, that according to his calculations Israel Hayom loses roughly $3 million each month. (Hebrew) The newspaper has been in operation for nine years.

According to Haim Shine, the free-sheet’s resident political commentator, the fact that the U.S. government gave more than $300,000, which was indirectly used for a political campaign against Netanyahu, is proof that “President Obama used U.S.-government mechanisms against the election of Netanyahu and was neck-deep in an attempt to effect the results of an Israeli election?”. (Hebrew)

“The American administration treated Israel like a South American banana republic and thought it could use money to influence [Israeli] citizens’ opinions,” Shine continued.

I wonder what Shine would write if a Jewish American billionaire injected tens of millions of dollars into an Israeli political campaign to put Benjamin Netanyahu into power, tens of millions more to keep him there, and then distributed that campaign’s political materials to hundreds of thousands of Israelis every day.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated the amount of the State Department grant to One Voice in millions instead of thousands of dollars. The mistake was made in translation. We apologize for any confusion.

This article was first published in Hebron on The Seventh Eye.

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Is the Israeli media responding to pressure on underrepresentation of Arabs?

A new campaign is pushing major media outlets to invite Arab experts to speak on their area of expertise. It seems the media landscape is responding — for the better.

By Oren Persico

New data reveals that leading Israeli news stations are inviting more Arab experts on news programs, following growing pressure by leading Israeli NGOs.

According to The Seventh Eye website’s “Representation Index,” around 40 Arabs were invited to speak about their area of expertise on the five leading Israeli media outlets during the month of April. This was a decrease from March, yet an increase from January and February when the index was launched.

The Representation Index provides quantitative and qualitative analysis of Arab citizens of Israel who are interviewed on leading news and current affairs programs on three major Israeli television channels (1, 2 and 10), and on radio stations IDF Radio (Galei Tzahal) and Reshet Bet. Each week, The Seventh Eye publishes data about the number and ratio of Arab interviewees during the previous week on the five channels and the 19 main news programs broadcasted in Israel.

In addition The Seventh Eye publishes more in-depth findings once a month, assessing which of the interviewees were interviewed simply because they were Arabs and which were interviewed because their area of expertise was relevant to the issue at hand.

According to April’s statistics, 38 Arab experts took part in news programs on Channels 1, 2, and 10, along with Reshet Bet and Army Radio. For the third month running, Reshet Bet is at the top of the list with 15 different experts appearing on various programs. In second place is Channel 10 (11 experts), followed by Army Radio, Channel 1, and Channel 2 (6, 4, and 2 experts respectively).

The distinction between non-expert and expert is based on the idea that Arabs who are invited to speak on programs due to their expertise are viewed in a positive light. Those who are invited to speak solely because they are Arabs are usually covered in a negative light.

Arab politicians, who are the most commonly featured in the Israeli media, are not defined as experts. For example, in April MK Zouheir Bahloul (Zionist Union) was interviewed 40 times due to controversial statements he made that month. This was higher than the total number of appearances by all the other Arab experts in the media.

The ratio...

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IDF spending millions on 'advertorial' content in Israeli media

The IDF has spent NIS 28 million on advertising in various media outlets, despite claims to the contrary.

By Itamar Bazz

The Israel Defense Forces purchased advertorial content in media outlets, according to an investigation by The Seventh Eye. In an interview to radio station “Kol Ha’ayin” last year, IDF Spokesperson Moti Almoz said the army is not involved in purchasing advertorial content and that media outlets that publish IDF content do so for their own editorial reasons and without receiving any compensation. But data obtained by The Seventh Eye and the organization “Hazlacha” indicate that in certain cases IDF messaging is planted in advertorial content in exchange for payment.

The data indicates that in the last four years, the IDF spent NIS 28 million on advertising – over NIS 7 million a year on average. In addition, the IDF Spokesperson allocates a large portion of its resources to documenting and distributing “news” items, photographs and videos passed on to Israeli media outlets for publication, without request for compensation.

For example, in the summer of 2015, the free daily Israel Hayom began publishing a regular IDF column in which commanders of various military divisions explained to readers why it is worthwhile to enlist into units under their command. Ma’ariv also publishes an IDF column, in which soldiers recommend their favorite nature hikes.

In an interview with The Seventh Eye, IDF Spokesperson Moti Almoz said the army did not pay for these columns and clarified: “I don’t even have the technical capacity to pay media outlets for publishing something very positive and moving about the IDF. Certainly not.” And yet The Seventh Eye’s investigation demonstrates not only that the technical ability to pay media outlets to promote IDF messaging exists, but that it has been used.

While the instances in which the IDF paid for advertorial content did not appear in leading media outlets, they reveal a lot about the phenomenon in which the IDF is permeating the subliminal advertising world, which has in recent years been increasingly drawing its budgets from governmental bodies and businesses. Those who operate in this field give these kinds of deals the code word “cooperation.” In cases in which the paying entity is a governmental body, the appropriate term for the phenomenon is “covert propaganda.”

A few months ago, the nonprofit organization “Hazlacha” submitted a freedom of information request together with the Seventh Eye to...

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Oops? Israeli news site reports ISIS 'threat' to win Eurovision

The song, ‘Death to the West,’ ‘sounds quite thematically heavy, but I’m sure audiences the world over will love the uplifting chorus,’ the all-too-serious report quotes an all-too-made-up Islamic State spokesperson saying.

By Oren Persico

Ahead of the Eurovision singing contest slated to take place in Sweden later this month, “NRG”, a major news outlets in Israel, published an article on “all of the fears” the popular televised event is raising in Israel, Europe and beyond.

Among a number of very real threats listed in the article was one allegedly posed by ISIS. Not a threat to attack the singing contest with violence — a threat by the Islamic State to win the Eurovision.

“We checked to see how Israeli and Swedish security officials are preparing for the event and we found that ISIS is already prepared with a song of their own,” read the sub-headline of the article, authored by the website’s culture correspondent Edo Dagan.

The article, which discussed widespread anger over changes in the singing contest’s format this year, went on to say: “Even the Islamic State organization ISIS is fuming over the planned changes to the voting system in this year’s Eurovision.”

According to the report, a “propaganda official” in the Islamic State organization made an announcement about “the song that will represent it in the Eurovision.”

The song, Dagan reported, is called “Death to the West,” and is “a power ballad in the vein of Leona Lewis’s global hit Bleeding Love – although instead of lyrics about finding love again after a painful heartbreak, they deal with the establishment of a single, global state under a specific interpretation of Islamic rule.”

The article goes on to quote an ISIS spokesperson who notes that “the song itself sounds quite thematically heavy, but I’m sure audiences the world over will love the uplifting chorus. Either way, it still stands a much greater chance of winning than the British entry.”

Of course, as journalist Uriah Canaff quickly realized, the NRG report about the ISIS song is based on an article from the British satirical website “The Poke,” whose slogan is “time ell wasted.”

At the time of publication, NRG had not yet made a correction on its unwittingly spoofed article, which had been online for a full week.

This article was first published in Hebrew on The 7th...

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Only 2% of interviewees in Israeli media are Arab, new index finds

Since the ‘Representation Index’ was launched, however, that number has gone up — dramatically. The index also tracks whether Arabs are interviewed in positive or negative contexts.

By Oren Persico

Only a month after being launched, a new initiative aimed at fostering more fair and equal representation and coverage of Arab citizens in Israeli media has had a dramatic, positive impact on the number of Arab experts interviewed on Israeli television and radio broadcasts.

The “Representation Index,” an initiative of Sikkuy, the Berl Katznelson Foundation and “The Seventh Eye” website, revealed that even though one of every five Israelis is Arab, the percentage of Arab interviewees in the main Israeli media is a mere 2-3 percent, sometimes even less. Removing members of Knesset from the equation, Arab representation drops to 1.5 percent. The index, which monitors radio and television news broadcasts, has been published every week since March 1.

The index provides quantitative and qualitative analysis of Arab citizens of Israel who are interviewed on leading news and current affairs programs on three major Israeli television channels (1, 2 and 10), and on radio stations IDF Radio (Galei Tzahal) and Reshet Bet.

Data collected in the first three months of the project revealed that since March 1 there has been a significant increase in the number of Arab experts interviewed in the Israeli media. Whereas in January there were 29 interviews with Arab experts on the five leading Israeli television stations, and in February there were 31, during March, after the publication of the first findings of the Representation Index, the number of Arab experts interviewed increased to 51 — 1.7 times more than the earlier months.

The index also monitors the framing and context of every interview, and notes the number of Arab experts interviewed about the topic of their expertise on each program. For instance, it includes in-depth findings that assess which of the interviewees were interviewed simply because they are Arabs and which were interviewed because their area of expertise was relevant to the topic or issue being discussed.

For example, an eyewitness to a car accident that took place in a majority Arab area of the country isn’t considered to be an “expert.” By contrast, a sociologist specializing in youth delinquency who is interviewed regarding her professional views on violence among Israeli youth is defined as an expert. Arab MKs, among the most popular Arab interviewees...

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Searching for incitement in Palestinian mosques — harder than you think

Channel 10 News wanted so badly to prove that Muslim preachers in Israel and the occupied territories use their Ramadan sermons to incite against Jews. Something went wrong along the way. 

By Anat Saragusti

“Incitement in Mosques.” That was the headline of a campaign that ran on Israel’s Channel 10 News this week, and which featured the station’s Arab affairs correspondent, Zvi Yehezkeli.

The promo spots, like all of the teasers in the broadcast, were frightening, including dramatic background music, photos of ISIL, and sermons about jihad, mujahadin, Al-Aqsa and other words likely to send any Israeli Jew running into the bomb shelter. The campaign gave the impression that ISIL is amassing on our borders and Yehezkeli is the true prophet, here to lay the facts before us.

Following a wave of ISIL terror attacks across the world at the start of Ramadan, Channel 10 News decided to take a look at what’s happening here — just how much of ISIL’s ideology is percolating into the Arab public in Israel and the territories. “We mapped all of the mosques in Israel and listened,” Yehezkeli tells his viewers, two days before the feature was broadcast. One day before the premier, he gave us another sweetener, this time a clip from the show itself, the subtext of which was: everything you think about Islam is right — it’s dark, scary, threatening, hateful and inciting.

And then the piece itself was broadcast. It was no coincidence that they called it a “special project.” Twenty minutes is considered an eternity in television news. For the show, Yehezkeli wore black clothes, a black cap and shot his stand-ups with mosques in the background. I tried to pick out the wheat from the chaff. Here are a few takeaways from all of the facts in the night of sermons, music, threatening shots, Yehezkeli himself’s rather frightening transitions.

The sentence, “we mapped all of the mosques in Israel,” was, how shall we put it, extremely imprecise. Channel 10’s special project looked at 15 out of hundreds of mosques spread across Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. That’s pretty far from constituting “all of the mosques.”

The bottom line: most of the sermons were “boring” according to Yehezkeli, dealing mainly with issues of religion and spirituality. “This does not represent all the mosques,” he says at the end of his report. Many of the preachers...

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Supreme Court: 'Fascist' Im Tirzu case had no standing

Supreme Court rules that the right-wing ‘Im Tirzu’ movement had no basis to sue a group of Facebook activists who labeled it ‘fascist.’

By Oren Persico

“It pains me to say so, but this suit contradicts this court’s fundamentals regarding the scope of freedom of speech, whereas we are speaking of the heart of the political-ideological sphere on one end, and on the other end we have another consideration, where this discussion took place — on Facebook — rather than a book or an article in a newspaper. When we take into consideration these two aspects, the result is so trivial that is it difficult to believe that you didn’t consider that your appeal will be rejected.” That is what Supreme Court Justice Yitzhak Amit told Im Tirzu’s attorney during a hearing on the appeal filed by the group against the founders of a Facebook group titled, “Im Tirzu is a fascist movement.” “The truth,” Justice Amit added, “is that your appeal should have been rejected out of hand.”

The hearing, which was heard by a three-judge panel that also included justices Anat Baron and Meni Mazuz, was on an appeal filed by both sides, against the Jerusalem District Court’s previous ruling. Roy Yellin, one of the founders of the group, appealed the district court’s decision, which fined him for libel after he published a Facebook comment tying Im Tirzu to scientific racism. The remaining defendants in the original lawsuit filed by Im Tirzu (for NIS 2.3 million), asked the court to force the organization to pay their legal costs. For its part, Im Tirzu appealed the court’s ruling that the “Im Tirzu is a fascist movement” Facebook group did not constitute libel.

Im Tirtzu has become known over the past several years for their attacks on left-wing academics and organizations. It launched a personal campaign against the head of the NIF, Naomi Chazan in the wake of Operation Cast Lead, campaigned against academics who taught courses about the Palestinian narrative of 1948, and led the campaign to shut down the political science department in Ben Gurion University. Im Tirtzu was also behind the attempt to scare the Eretz Yisrael Museum from hosting the annual ‘Return Conference,’ an event put on by the non-profit Zochrot, which works to promote awareness of the Nakba in Israeli society.

At the end of the court hearing, both sides agreed with the Supreme Court’s decision that...

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Reporting in the line of duty

Channel 10’s veteran military analyst rides along with a unit that goes undercover as Palestinians, taking a shot at embedded reporting. The result has very little to do with journalism.

By Nir Gontarz

Television journalists generally bring a videographer with them when they report from the field. Embarrassingly enough, the person who filmed veteran reporter Alon Ben-David’s recent report on Channel 10 about Border Police who go undercover as Palestinians (“Mistaravim” in Hebrew) was actually a cameraman from the Israel Police’s spokesperson’s unit.

When a journalist goes on a paid junket or any assignment that is sponsored and organized by an entity that is not his or her news outlet, it’s customary to disclose the arrangement to the reader or viewer. It’s called full disclosure, something along the lines of: “The reporter has been a guest of Toyota Israel,” or “The reporter has been a guest of the Georgian Foreign Ministry.”

Ben-David should have disclosed to his viewers that he was a guest of the police spokesperson, and if any restrictions were placed on him — to disclose them, too. For instance, did he commit to not asking his interviewees challenging questions that might, perhaps, bring up ethical or moral issues? And if no restrictions were imposed on him, why did he nonetheless choose not to make any disclosure?

Ben-David — a news presenter and military and security analyst – made a downright promotional piece, in which he painted a completely one-sided picture, devoid of any journalistic content. The veteran reporter, who never stopped flattering the arrest raid and assassination unit, chose not to ask the soldiers what it feels like to make extrajudicial arrests of civilians, or to break into a family home in the middle of the night based on shady information.

Under the cover of darkness, Ben-David accompanied the “Mistaravim” on an arrest raid, which we don’t know why they carried out, and in which as far as we can tell from the footage, the “undercover” officers showed up at the site of the arrest dressed in full uniforms — and not in civilian attire. After blowing off the front door of the home, the disabled suspect is arrested and put into a car. Ben-David doesn’t feel the need to tell his viewers what evidence emanated from the suspect’s interrogation, whether he was brought before a judge, whether his remand was extended, whether he was indicted,...

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When even Israel's sports reporters ignore Palestinians

It turns out that only threatening measures by the Palestinian Authority make the Israeli media notice Palestinian athletes.

By Asaf Marziano

A “blind spot” is a kind of built-in flaw in the human eye. This spot exists for all of us, meaning that our view of the world will always lack that certain spot. Because our mind has mechanisms that allow us to complete the picture based on prior knowledge about the world, we are able to see a complete, continuous picture. It is understood that this picture will match what we know about the world, and not the the picture of the world as it really is.

On Friday March 27, Bethlehem held the third annual Palestine Marathon. Over 3,000 runners participated, including Palestinians and Israelis. However, many Gaza runners were not allowed to exit the Strip and participate. Since Bethlehem does not have any 42.2-kilometer route that does not include an Israeli checkpoint or roadblock, the marathon organizers were resigned to designing a circular route. Aside from +972, it’s Hebrew sister site Local Call and Haaretz, which reported on the event from a political perspective, it was not covered by any other Hebrew-language Israeli media outlet, especially not those that cover sports.

Three days after the marathon, Palestinian Football Association (PFA) chief Jibril Rajoub called on FIFA to suspend Israel from international competition for preventing Palestinians from Gaza from taking part in sporting events in Gaza, among other things. The incident was covered by most of the sports sections in Israel, although none of them provided a real explanation or even general background for the PFA’s claims, which were presented as political trickery. However, despite the proximity between the marathon and Rajoub’s call, the former was not mentioned. I tend to believe that these reporters really didn’t know about the event, but shouldn’t they have known in the first place?

When Israeli tennis star Shahar Pe’er participated in a tournament in Dubai, despite the difficulties placed on her by the organizers, the incident was widely discussed in the sports media. The media debate was mostly based on the agreement that sport must be a-political. Therefore, how can it even be possible that a tennis player is prevented from participating in a tournament solely because she is Israeli? After all, she has been training all year long, and what do politics have to...

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The IDF unmasks an anonymous source — itself

Security agencies in Israel love to give reporters information without attribution, refusing to stand behind what they say. Every once in a while, they publish the same information on their official websites.

By Ido Kenan

In July 2011, a year after the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident, in which passengers attacked Israeli forces who then killed 10 of them, Turkish organization IHH planned a second flotilla to Gaza. In an attempt to preempt the second flotilla, the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot, approved the transfer of medical equipment donated by the Turkish Red Crescent to Gaza. At the same time, somebody was trying to do away with Israel’s responsibility for the medical crisis in Gaza, and announced that, “coordination of the transfer of the Turkish aid is taking place on a daily basis and not because of the medical supply crisis in Gaza, which is a result of the internal Palestinian conflict in its medical system, to which Israel is not party.”

Who is behind that claim? On Israel’s Arutz 7, for example, the quote was attributed to a “military source.” Israel’s Channel 10 published the claim in its own words, without any quotation marks, and preceded by, “the IDF explained.” Originally, the quote was sent to journalists by the IDF under the contradictory classification of “OTR – In the reporter’s name.” As Rafi Mann explained on The 7th Eye website in an article on the rules of attributing information to sources (Hebrew), “In the reporter’s name” is equivalent to the American term “Deep Background,” a ground rule under which you may publish the information, but without attributing it to the source who gave it to you; OTR, or off the record, is information that is intended only for the journalist’s ears, and not for publication. On the surface of things, both news outlets broke the rules — they published the quote, and thereby broke the OTR rule; and they attributed it to a military source, thereby breaking the ‘in the reporter’s name’; rule.”

Security agencies in Israel love to give journalists information on the condition that they not be identified as the source. Ran Binyamini wrote about it on The 7th Eye in 2006 (Hebrew): “Every once in a while the Shin Bet sends journalists messages through the IDF Spokesperson under the strange headline, ‘information in...

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IDF: Nothing illegal in Gaza strike that killed three journalists

The chief military prosecutor investigates the IDF’s killing of three journalists and finds that ‘the [mortar] fire was carried out in accordance with Israeli and international law,’ in response to intensive fire toward IDF troops.

By Oren Persico

IDF Military Advocate General Danny Efroni decided not to open a criminal investigation into the killing of three journalists, among others, during Operation Protective Edge last summer, according the IDF prosecutor.

On July 30, 2014, IDF forces shelled the market area of the Shejaiya neighborhood in Gaza. Rami Rayan, 26, who reportedly worked as a cameraman for Gaza-based news agency PNJM, was killed on the spot in the shelling. Muhammad al-Diri, 26, who also worked as a cameraman for the same news agency, was wounded and died a few days later. Same al-Ariyan, 28, who worked as a presenter on Hamas’s television station Al-Aqsa, was also wounded in the shelling and died hours later.

Since the end of “Protective Edge,” the IDF General Staff, led by Gen. Noam Tivon, has been reviewing various incidents in which it is suspected that IDF soldiers broke the law. Roughly six months ago, the IDF Prosecutor announced [Hebrew] that the General Staff had examined a different incident, in which Gaza journalist Hamed Shaheb was killed, and reached the conclusion that there was no evidence Shaheb indeed worked as a journalist. It added that his vehicle was bombed because it was transporting weaponry.

At the same time, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (ITIC) identified the journalists who were killed during the operation and reached the conclusion that some of them were terror operatives [Hebrew]. However, also according to the ITIC, the three journalists killed by IDF shelling on July 30 in the market area of Shejaiya were working as journalists at the time they were hit. Additionally, despite the fact that one of them was employed by a Hamas media organization, there was no evidence found that the three were involved in terrorism.

The IDF Prosecutor this week published the findings of the General Staff review of the events of July 30. The findings show that the three journalists were not killed while documenting civilians shopping in the market, as was reported in the Palestinian media. Instead, the review found, they were bombed as they arrived to film the bombing of a family home adjacent...

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'Israel Hayom' and Netanyahu's shared fear of Arab voters

The prime minister’s gravest allegation against those working against his re-election is that they are trying to raise voter participation among Arab citizens of Israel. ‘Israel Hayom,’ meanwhile, has decided that Arab voters’ opinions just don’t count.

By Oren Persico

“Millions of shekels from overseas — to raise voter participation for the Left and the Arabs,” was the main headline last week on Israel Hayom, the newspaper funded by millions of shekels from overseas. The headline was a quote from an interview with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the newspaper’s edition that day.

Not the danger of Iranian nuclear proliferation, not the controversy surrounding Netanyahu’s Congress speech, not criticism of Netanyahu’s political challengers Isaac Herzog or Tzipi Livni. Of all the quotes in the interview, Israel Hayom’s editors (read more about the newspapers ties to the prime minister here) chose to focus on the warning about high voter turnout among leftists and Arabs.

The quote in the main headline of the newspaper, which is distributed for free to over half a million people, summarizes the prime minister’s long answer to the question of whether Herzog and Livni will become prime ministers in a rotation agreement:

There is a coalition being driven by hidden actors, whose goal is to oust the Likud from power and to replace it with a left-wing government. This is not the “just not Bibi” coalition, which we are familiar with. I’m talking about other forces, much larger, that include millions of shekels from overseas, along with consultants and others in order to accomplish two things: to raise turnout among voters on the Left on a much larger scale than what exists today, and massive turnout among Arab voters [on election day].

These are well-funded organizations that can bring the number of Arab [Knesset] seats up to 16 and decide the elections. The strategy is clear: bring leftist voters to the polls and to raise voter participation in the Arab public to unprecedented levels. That’s how they believe they can break the Likud’s rule and boost the left-wing parties. That’s the main effort, the hidden [effort], of the most significant influence, which has already affected the polls. It presents a very real danger that the Likud and I might not lead the next government.

[Livni] and [Herzog] are first of all hiding Livni and after that they...

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Liberman to head of Joint List: You're not wanted here

Why is it that neither the debate host nor the heads of the other political parties stopped the foreign minister as he alluded to the expulsion of one out of every five Israelis?

By Oren Persico

When does staying silent become collaboration? Last Thursday, Channel 2 hosted a debate between the heads of all the major parties (aside from Netanyahu and Herzog). During the debate, Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Liberman directed some pretty harsh language against Joint List head Ayman Odeh.

Liberman claimed that Odeh and his friends in the Joint List represent terrorist organizations and said they should be put on trial for incitement and sedition, in light of Odeh calling on young Arabs not to participate in Israel’s national service. When Odeh remarked that Arabs represent 20 percent of Israel’s citizens, Liberman responded, “for now.” Liberman continued referring to Odeh as a “fifth column” throughout the debate.

(Watch Liberman in Hebrew here.)

The following day, host Yonit Levy received much praise over her ability to keep the debate orderly and navigate a complex situation under previously-established rules. However, in the moments of truth, Levy remained almost entirely silent. It was close to the end, when every party head got the chance to ask another a question. Liberman used his time to turn to Ayman Odeh (without mentioning his name) and ask him the following questions:

Why are you in this studio rather than a studio in Gaza? Why are you running for the Israeli Knesset instead of being elected in Ramallah? Why are you even here. You are not wanted here. You are a Palestinian citizen, you identify as Palestinian, so go to Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] — he will pay your salary, your unemployment benefits, your convalescence, your laziness benefits.

Despite the fact that the party heads interrupted one another constantly, when Liberman told Odeh, “you are not wanted here,” no one cut him off. Not Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon (who condemned Liberman’s words later on in the debate), not Yesh Atid leader Yair “Zoabis” Lapid, not any of the other six Jewish elected officials who took part in the debate. No one said “stop it.” No one made clear that such rhetoric is unacceptable. The only person who responded to Liberman was host Yonit Levy, who only mae a factual correction: “He is an Israeli citizen, Mr. Liberman.”

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