Otzma Yehudit activist Itamar Ben-Gvir requested this morning to respond to statements made against him on Army Radio, but for various pretexts he was denied the opportunity to broadcast a response.
This morning Ben Gvir heard the program "What's Burning" with Razi Barkai and Guri Alfie - during which they tried to link him to invective heard at a counter-demonstration against the gender disorientation ceremony held by infra-secular organizations on Memorial Day in Tel Aviv.
He called the studio asking to go on air and respond - even seeking to explain that he did participate in the demonstration, but did not curse ceremony participants.
The program's production staff repeatedly refused to allow him to go on air but offered him to send a written response.
At first, production staff claimed that Minister Naftali Bennett was on air and could not be cut off, so Ben-Gvir would have to send a written response. Ben-Gvir answered that Bennett is unlikely to be interviewed for two hours and that he, Ben-Gvir, could be broadcast after the Bennett interview ended.
But then the production staff changed direction and added the program editor to the call, who claimed that they did not understand what slander was spoken. "They only mentioned a few names of people who were in the demonstration," the editor claimed.
Attorney Ben-Gvir replied that once his name is mentioned and linked to all kinds of derogatory statements, this constitutes slander and he demanded the opportunity to respond.
After the editor repeatedly refused to allow Ben Gvir on air, Ben-Gvir read out the following oral response demanding that it be broadcast, if only to minimize the damage done to him by the slander:
"The program of Razi Barkai has been unbalanced for many years. I asked to go on air to respond to slander against me and to my astonishment you are preventing me from doing so. It is not surprising that anyone who interviews Hamas members and extreme leftists every Monday and Thursday refuses to allow me to even get on the air and respond to slurs against me. That's how journalism is conducted in Syria and Iraq, not in a democratic country. "