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Rafik Bye-Bye

By Yisrael Medad
12/13/2007, 12:00 AM

Israel's electronic media and its print press are notorious for their lack of media ethics as well as their overall left-wing bias.  In my previous position as Director of Israel's Media Watch, I proved this theme, almost daily.

Everyone is up for criticism - except, largely, the journalists themselves.  A politician may be carrying on a dalliance but do we ever hear/read about the shennaigans of journalists?  Are their pecadilloes ever headlined?

I recalled this imbalanced situation whereby the public gets to know whatever the journalist and his/her editor want you to know about public figures - politically, financially, morally, etc., - but we rarely find out what's going on behind the cameras and computers.

This past week, a small item did make it into the papers, albeit in an almost begligent way:

Journalist Rafiq Halabi was convicted yesterday in the Civil Service Commission's disciplinary tribunal of conduct unbecoming a civil servant and of sexual harassment. Under a plea bargain, Halabi pled guilty to verbal harassment of an employee of the Israel Broadcasting Authority during the period he worked there.

The verdict said that even though Halabi's harassment had been verbal, "sexually-tinged statements are also serious." Halabi will receive a reprimand.

More than the incident itself, you should realize that this is the man who, when still a reporter, published The West Bank Story way back in 1985.  He is a Druse and successfully manipulated himself out of previous ticklish incidents by claiming discrimination against him.

Well, his harassment of M.A. (name known to me) finally brought him down.  All power to women as well as Amos Goren, a member of the three-person tribunal and a personal friend of mine.