Israeli lawyer and far-right pundit Yoram Sheftel has informed Channel 20 that he will no longer appear on its current affairs programs after he was forbidden to use the word “Judenrat” to describe the new Israeli government, referring to Jewish councils who managed ghettos in Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II.
Sheftel, who was a regular guest on "the Patriots” and Boaz Golan’s programs up until two months ago, repeatedly used the term Judenrat to describe Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government.
Three months ago, he used the term on Shimon Riklin’s show too, who responded at the time and told Sheftel he didn’t really like the label, but Sheftel insisted it was his right to use it as much as he wanted.
As a result, the editor-in-chief of Channel 20, Yoram Cohen, banned Sheftel from using Judenrat. “I wasn’t fired from the channel but I quit,” Sheftel told Haaretz, which Channel 20 executives later confirmed. Sheftel said he quit "because the channel’s management was not willing for me to call the Israeli government by the most appropriate name for it.”
“I use this term all the time because it’s the most appropriate one to describe this government which relies on the United Arab List party, which is an antisemitic Arab gang whose religious authority says that an Islamic caliphate must arise to replace the State of Israel. A Jewish ruling gang that supports this idea will be responsible for the destruction of Israel, this is a classic Judenrat,” said Sheftel.
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Sheftel is an Israeli lawyer and broadcaster who represented John Demjanjuk many years ago. He has been suspended a number of times from his radio program on 103 FM: Once in April 2019, after he violated the election campaigning law, and again in November 2019, after he told a listener who went on the air to speak on his program to “shut your mouth up.” After he called former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot “a miserable spirit who looks like a fat bureaucrat in city hall,” the station was fined and Sheftel apologized.
Channel 20 has recently shown little patience towards provocative statements. For example, in June, following the death of MK Saeed Alkharumi of the United Arab List, a post appeared on the channel’s Facebook page expressing Schadenfreude over the death, alongside the verse from Proverbs: “When the wicked perish, there is joy.” After massive backlash on social media, Channel 20 apologized and erased the post.
Channel 20 declined to comment on the matter.