TV Anchor Under Fire for 'Arab Discrimination' Comment During Netanyahu's Congress Speech

Dozens of viewers complain about comment added by Yonit Levy of Channel 2 television about the status of Arabs in Israel - said during the prime minister's speech to Congress.

The Second Television and Radio Authority is looking into viewer complaints alleging political bias expressed by an Israeli news anchor during the broadcast of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to the U.S. Congress last week.

Dozens of viewers complained about a comment added by Yonit Levy of Channel 2 television after her simultaneous translation of Netanyahu's statement that out of 300 million Arabs in our region, "less than one half of one percent are truly free, and they're all citizens of Israel."

Yonit Levy - Channel 2
Channel 2

Levy added: "Naturally, some of them, if they could, would speak to the prime minister about the discrimination they experience in Israeli society."

A senior Channel 2 official said in response yesterday: "When journalists translate a speech they always insert comments. That is part of their job." The official noted that the comment about the Israeli Arabs was appropriate and called-for.

The Second Television and Radio Authority's ombudsman, Giora Rosen, told Haaretz: "Journalistic freedom and editing are not issues for the regulator."