Army Radio on Sunday announced that it will not air a libelous new song released by popular leftist Israeli musician Izhar Ashdot, due to its content which defames IDF soldiers - those very same soldiers that protect his and his family's lives with their own.
Ashdot had been scheduled to make an appearance on the radio station for a live jam in which he was to perform songs from his new album, “A Matter of Habit”. Members of the Yisrael Sheli (My Israel) movement issued a public call to the station, on the movement’s Facebook page, to cancel Ashdot’s appearance.
Army Radio commander Yaron Dekel ultimately decided that the controversial song will not be performed but ordered that the rest of the interview with Ashdot go ahead as planned.
The song in question is the title track of Ashdot’s new album and it talks about the habit of IDF soldiers to kill and be cruel. Yisraeli Sheli noted some of the lyrics of the song which are offensive and libelous towards IDF soldiers, including, “They are not a man, not a woman, they are just objects, only a shadow, learning to kill, it's a matter of habit.”
Shahar Kotinsky of the Yisrael Shelanu movement said on Sunday, “The title track of the new album by Izhar Ashdot, ‘A Matter of Habit’, unjustifiably defames soldiers. The song says that IDF soldiers kill and are cruel out of habit. Ashdot has the right to sing what he wants, but a station that is supposed to represent soldiers should not promote an artist who attacks soldiers and calls them cruel murderers.”
A statement published on behalf of Army Radio on Sunday afternoon said that “due to the song's contents, which debase IDF soldiers, the station commander decided that there is no room on Army Radio to publicly celebrate a song that denigrates and denounces those who have sacrificed their lives for the defense of the country.”
The statement added, “Izhar Ashdot is held in high esteem [artistically] by Army Radio. However, in this specific case we believe with the artistic leeway afforded to artists by this station that Army Radio, as a station where many soldiers perform their military service, should avoid celebrating a song that demonizes those soldiers.”
Ashdot himself served at Army Radio as a music programming editor. During his military service at the station he met his future partners to the band Tislam, which became a popular rock group in Israel in the 1980s. In 2010, Ashdot and the members of Tislam were involved in another politically-based incident, when the band members cancelled an appearance by Israeli singer Ariel Zilber at their show simply because of his rightist views.
In August, Dekel ordered a live broadcast on Army Radio from Susya, near Hevron, to go on as scheduled despite attempts by leftist anarchists to stop it.
Prior to the broadcast, the anarchists protested outside the station’s studios in Yafo in an attempt to get the station to cancel it. The station explained that it “reflects in its broadcasting all the parts of Israeli society and will continue to broadcast from anywhere. We have no interest in being drawn into political debates, but rather wish to do our job loyally for our listening audience everywhere.”