'Anti-IDF' Activist at Telethon?

After Arutz Sheva exposé, MKs want Gal Uchovsky, who signed 'anti-IDF' petition after Cast Lead, out of 'Shirutrom.'

Gil Ronen , | updated: 18:26

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MKs Moshe Motz Matalon (Israel Our Home) and Robert Tibayev (Kadima) demanded Monday that leftist media personality Gal Uchovsky be removed from the roster of presenters at the annual 'Shirutrom' – an annual telethon held by IDF Radio to raise money for the Association for the Wellbeing of Israel's Soldiers (AWIS) and the LIBI Fund.

Uchovsky, a self-proclaimed leader of Israeli homosexuals, is a journalist, filmmaker and media personality. Arutz Sheva's Hebrew service noted in an exposé Monday that immediately after the Cast Lead campaign in Gaza, he appeared as a signatory on a petition by ultra-leftist group Breaking the Silence which demanded an investigation into allegations of war crimes by IDF soldiers.

The petition cited testimony by IDF soldiers who alleged that “innocent civilians were hurt when there was no danger to IDF soldiers' lives, that the army made use of phosphorus shells in inhabited areas, that the policy regarding opening fire was permissive and that innocent civilians served as 'human shields.'” It cast aspersions at the IDF's inquiry into the allegations, which found that they were unfounded.

Honoring Libel
In addition, Uchovsky attended an event at the Tel Aviv political club “The Left Bank” honoring Arab actor and filmmaker Muhammad Bakri, after Bakri was sued by IDF soldiers who participated in the counter-terror campaign Defensive Shield in 2002. Bakri made a film, Jenin, Jenin, which portrayed the IDF action as an act of intentional genocide. A court found that he had libeled the IDF, but ruled that the soldiers who sued him were not eligible for compensation as individuals.

"I was shocked to see that on the day in which we salute our beloved ones, the soldiers of the IDF, one of the presenters of the broadcasts will be Mr. Gal Uchovsky, who has come out openly against the IDF and its soldiers,” MK Matalon wrote in a letter to IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and to IDF Radio Commander Yitzchak Tunik. “I ask that you take him out of the programming schedule.”

MK Robert Tibayev sent Tunik a similar letter. “Uchovsky has a long record of action against the IDF,” he wrote. “People like Uchovsky should have pariah status in the IDF and its units, and they should not be invited to participate in an event for the IDF and its soldiers.”

Arutz Sheva has not been able to get Uchovsky's response.