The wall-to-wall press campaign in favor of the leftist housing protests is showing signs of cracking as respected journalist Kalman Liebeskind points out the hypocrisy of the protest leaders.
In his weekly Maariv column, Liebeskind suggests that "Social Justice Law Number 1" make it illegal for the lead talent's salary in a press body to be more than six times bigger than that of the lowest paid researcher, proofreader or production assistant.
"There is no greater piggish capitalism that receiving [Channel 2 anchorwoman] Yonit Levy's salary, which is worth that of 10 or 15 researchers combined, and to preach social revolution," he writes.
Other leading participants in the protest, like singer Shlomo Artzi who performed free for the protesters and helped draw in a large crowd, should also lead by personal example, wrote Liebeskind. Artzi himself charges 500 – 600 shekels per couple for his performances.
"Therefore Shlomo Artzi, who is bothered by the cost of living, is himself a part of our cost of living," he wrote.
Liebeskind also singles out Rav Benny Lau for criticism over his decision to join the protests and address the crowd in Tel Aviv. "The meeting between Rav Benny Lau and the protest organizers, who invited him to speak, was a two-way deal. He received some moments in front of the audience. They received a national religious leader on the cheap, to lure his congregants into the trap for them."
"It was so painful to see this respected figure there, of all people," Liebeskind lamented. "The voices of protest cast aspersions daily upon his brothers, the settlers, and he – the "Kashrut certifier" for whom the organizers have been looking for three weeks, volunteers to affix a mezuzah in their tent and grant the blessing in the name of G-d and His Kingdom."
Six years ago, Liebeskind recalled, the newspapers asked Rav Lau to opine about a protest against the Disengagement from Gaza that involved sleeping in a Jerusalem street. He called them "a bunch of youths incited by a small group of arrogant people." But he sees a similar protest in Rothschild Avenue as "emotionally moving." The press loved him then for attacking the protesters, and it loves him now for supporting them, sums up Liebeskind.