Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat (Likud) on Monday removed a sports reporter from a press conference she held, after the two got into a shouting match.
Livnat held a press conference in Tel Aviv, during which she presented the conclusions of a committee headed by former state accountant-general Yaron Zelicha which focused on reforming Israel’s soccer leagues.
As Livnat was presenting the committee’s findings, Haaretz sports reporter Moshe Boker launched a long tirade which included a series of questions and accusations directed at Livnat and at the committee members. Boker alleged that Livnat and Zelicha were in multiple conflicts of interest when it came to the soccer leagues.
When Boker concluded his tirade, Livnat fired back, asking Boker whether he “sleeps at night,” and then accused him of “defamation, aspersions and lies.” She then suggested that those present read an article in an online Israeli publication which exposed Boker’s alleged lack of objectivity.
Boker continued to interrupt Livnat’s response, insisting his questions were not defamation and were not an attack of a personal nature. Livnat shouted back, “I listened to your defamation without interrupting. Now you won’t interrupt me.”
The shouting match continued as Boker continued to interrupt Livnat, who yelled back at him, “You won’t interrupt me” 14 times. She then asked her security guard to remove Boker from the room.
As Boker was being removed, he continued to shout at Livnat and she responded, “You will not turn this into a circus.” Boker accused her of “behaving like Putin’s regime.”
The video of the shouting match (in Hebrew), which was posted to YouTube by the One.co.il sports news website, has been widely disseminated on the Internet.