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Radio Host: Media Taking Advantage of Protests

Radio personality Jojo Abutbul came to take part in a TV panel on the protests and heard anti-government sentiments in the corridor.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 9/5/2011, 5:12 AM

'Social justice' rally Saturday night
'Social justice' rally Saturday night
Flash 90

Israeli radio personality Jojo Abutbul, who appeared on a Channel 10 television panel about the social protest on Saturday night, was shocked at what he saw and heard in the network’s corridors before he went on the air.

Abutbul, who told Arutz Sheva that he was witness to bitter hatred towards the political right and particularly towards Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, intends to present some exact quotes he heard on his show on Kol Yisrael government radio on Monday.

“It wasn’t what I would expect to find in a media outlet that claims to be objective,” Abutbul said, emphasizing that what he had heard was not pleasant to his ears, especially since he was invited to the panel as representing a particular point of view that is not affiliated with the Israeli left.

“All this hatred is unnecessary,” he said. “It’s okay to think differently than someone, but why hate like this? Why all the hatred against the prime minister and his wife? Where did this come from? What they did to you? This country belongs to all of us and we all live in together, regardless of political affiliation.”

The housing protest in Israel, while bringing up issues of legitimate concern such as affordable housing for all Israelis, has been fanned by leftist groups that are taking advantage of the protest to call to bring down the Netanyahu government. Some hosts in the Israeli media have also added some fat to the fire.

Abutbul stressed that the protest itself is supported just because “people work hard all month and then are not able to make ends meet.” He added, however, that he does not accept the fact that the person who leads the protests signed a document declaring a refusal to serve in the ‘army of occupation’.

He was referring to protest leader Daphni Leef who even went so far as to call for the resignation of respected Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, who was appointed by the Prime MInister to head a committee for recommending social welfare reforms in the economy.

Abutbul recalled the backlash against a television host who last week dared to ask Leef why she did not serve in the IDF.

“It’s scary” he said. “The side that controls the media can say anything and the other side must not talk. Why should we not talk? It has been proven that their way has failed, why we should not talk?”

“The protest was not born today,” Abutbul added. “It has been in existence since the state was in its planning stages, but the media is taking advantage of it and using the fact that among the protest leaders are radical leftists and anarchists.”