Published: 2018-04-03 12:08
Last Updated: 2018-04-03 13:29
A prominent host on Israeli Army Radio apologized for his assertion that he was “ashamed to be Israeli” after pressure from the radio commander Shimon Elkabetz.
The host, Kobi Meidan, expressed his criticism toward Israel’s violent Friday response to Palestinians during the “Great Return March”, in which 18 protesters were killed, in a Facebook post on Saturday.
Meidan’s freedom of speech was met with a prompt response from Elkabetz, who threatened the show would be taken off air unless Meidan publicly explained and retracted his statement.
Despite the retraction, in which Meidan claimed he had made the post before knowing the details of the clash, his show has been suspended, according to Haaretz. On Monday the station expressed that they are leaning toward returning his show after the apology.
Other authority figures who expressed their dislike for the host’s post include Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman and Gilad Erdan, the Minister for Public Security and Strategic Affairs. The former told an Israeli radio that Meidan should leave the station and that Israel was ashamed of such citizens, while the latter claimed Meidan’s remarks “lack seriousness” and are an example of the “extreme left”.
On the other hand, Israel’s Labour Party Chairman Avi Gabbay showed a more nuanced view in a Monday tweet where he defended Meidan’s freedom of speech despite disagreeing with his comment, Haaretz reported.
Israel’s use of live ammunition against unarmed Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza on Friday has also triggered condemnation from the international community, as it violates international human rights law.