National-religious star joins leftist IDF Radio

Erel Segal receives a prime slot at the radio station that is a bastion of leftist broadcasting.

Gil Ronen,

Erel Segal
Erel Segal
Channel 20

Nationalist broadcasting star Erel Segal will be hosting a daily hour-long program about news and current events on IDF Radio, according to Globes. Segal will reportedly receive one of the station's "prime time" slots, which are usually considered to be its morning current event interview programs.

One possibility, according to the report, is that Segal – who dons a knitted kippah – will receive one of the two hours between 9 AM and 11 AM that are currently hosted by ultra-leftist Razi Barkai. Barkai came under fire a few days ago after he repeatedly compared between the bereaved mothers of IDF soldiers killed in Gaza, and mothers of Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

IDF Radio confirmed that Segal will be hosting a show but Segal himself would not comment.

Segal currently hosts a talk program on nationalist Galei Yisrael radio, and a panel called "The Patriots" on TV's Channel 20. He also writes a weekly column in Makor Rishon / NRG. 

He was approached by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for a slot on the Likud's Knesset list in the 2015 elections but turned down the offer.

Nationalist views are grossly underrepresented in Israel's mainstream media and every "knitted kippah" who enters mainstream media raises expectations among non-leftists, who hope that national broadcasting will become more palatable to their ears and eyes.

The "knitted kippah" stream of religious Zionists is generally associated with support for the settlement enterprise and traditional morality, although a minority of "knitted kippot" identify with leftist politics.

In recent years, religious Zionists including Amit Segal, Sivan Rahav-Meir, Yair Sherki and Yifat Erlich have successfully joined the ranks of mainstream media outlets, although some nationalists complain that this also involved a degree of softening in their positions. Segal himself, while an erudite and brilliant advocate of nationalist views, does not tend to challenge political correctness head-on.

A governmental committee recently handed in recommendations that could end the leftist monopoly over news content on Israeli television.

The inter-ministerial committee under Communications Ministry Director Shlomo Filber has recommended to end the current situation, in which the only channels broadcasting news are Channels 2 and 10.

Implementation of the recommendations will open up the communications market to competition and allow, among other things, an Israeli version of the US's "Fox News" – that is, one or more channels that provide news content that is not liberal-leftist in nature.

According to The Marker, Channel 20 – which is currently branded the "Tradition Channel" and broadcasts limited news content with a nationalist bent, stands a good chance of creating its own fully-fledged TV news operation.




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