Daily Israel Report

Steinitz Slams Israeli Media: ‘Truth’ a Forgotten Word

Finance Minister Steinitz slams Israel's mainstream media dishonesty, particularly over social protests and US-Israel relations..
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 9/21/2012, 10:39 AM

Minister Steinitz
Minister Steinitz
Flash 90

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz slammed the Israeli media in a closed-door meeting with activists, the Hebrew language daily Makor Rishon reports.

“We’re dealing here, unfortunately – because media is important in a democracy – with media that is not only against the Likud,” Steinitz said. “Yes, it prefers the left. For the most part, not entirely, but for the most part. It is not fully objective.”

“But beyond that, the media has lost its respect for one small, simple word – the word ‘truth,’” he continued. “There is no more respect for the word truth.”

As an example, Steinitz pointed to media coverage of the “social justice” movement and the cost of living. “What did [Bank of Israel head] Stanley Fischer tell me one year ago – he told me, the index went up by just two percent. The cost of living index went up by two percent,” Steinitz recalled.

“How can all the media talk about an unprecedented increase in the cost of living?” he asked. “There is a way of measuring. It’s scientific. It went up by two percent. That’s very normal.”

Steinitz also criticized media accounts of a crisis in ties between the United States and Israel over differences of opinion regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

“Two days ago one of the newspapers had stories about a rift with the United States, it was also on television, that the rift is reaching a new height, people are thumping on the tables in the meeting between Bibi and members of Congress,” he said.

“The most recent guest to visit my office before I came here was the American ambassador in Israel, Dan Shapiro. He told me – I don’t understand. It’s true, there are differences of opinion here and there. We think differently. It’s always been like that. There’s no rift, no crisis,” Steinitz related.

“We had a very friendly meeting,” he added.

Steinitz heads the committee that will soon determine the fate of the struggling Channel 10 TV station.