Apology Saves Job of Israeli Radio Host Who Said He's 'Ashamed to Be Israeli' Over Gaza Deaths

Popular media personality Kobi Meidan says he wrote out of 'pain and concern' after killings of Gazans, and that 'soldiers are dear to us'

Army Radio host Kobi Meidan in Tel Aviv, 2018
Meged Gozani

Popular radio host Kobi Meidan has apologized for his post on Facebook last weekend, in which he wrote he was “ashamed to be Israeli.” Army Radio commander Shimon Elkabetz said in response on Monday evening that Meidan would not be fired.

Elkabetz said in a statement that he had originally intended to fire Meidan as a result of his post on Saturday, but changed his mind after the apology.

“Meidan violated the station’s code of ethics but his apology is honest and genuine,” said Elkabetz. The ethical code guides the station and states that the soldiers and employees are required to carefully consider their words on every external platform, online and otherwise, added Elkabetz.

>> Debunking Israel's Talking Points on Deadly Gaza Protests | Opinion >>

The two met on Monday and the veteran radio host said he did not intend to insult soldiers in any way. “I did not write a single word against IDF soldiers, who are dear to us all, that was not my intention and if it was interpreted that way then I apologize for it,” said Meidan. “They were written out of pain and concern on my private Facebook page and were not spoken as part of the station’s broadcasts. This separation is important and not by chance.”

Gilad Erdan, minister of public security and strategic affairs, criticized Meidan in an interview with Army Radio on Monday, prior to Elkabetz’s decision not to fire the broadcaster.

Erdan said of Meidan that if he was “truly moral,” he would “give up the keys and say he didn’t want to broadcast at Army Radio,” adding that Meidan’s words teach not only the “position of the extreme left, but that he also lacks seriousness” since the remarks were made before any full examination of last week’s events.

Also on Monday before Elkabetz’s decision, Labor Party Chairman Avi Gabbay wrote on Twitter against Meidan’s dismissal, tweeting that he’s “very proud to be an Israeli, but is strongly opposed to being rejected on the grounds of freedom of expression.”