Israeli Radio Host Posted 'Ashamed to Be Israeli' After Gaza Deaths. Now He May Lose His Job

Army Radio commander Shimon Elkabetz orders the station to no longer broadcast Kobi Meidan on the air, but it remains to be seen whether temporarily or permanently

Israeli radio host Kobi Meidan in Tel Aviv, March 2018.
Meged Gozani

Top Israeli radio host Kobi Meidan has been silenced on Army Radio after posting on Facebook that he’s “ashamed to be Israeli” after 15 Gazans were shot dead during mass Gaza protests along the Israel-Gaza border last week.

After talking with the media personality, Army Radio commander Shimon Elkabetz ordered the station to no longer broadcast Meidan on the air, but it remains to be seen whether temporarily or permanently.

Meidan told Elkabetz that he uploaded the post before he knew the full facts of the Gaza incident. It has been reported that Elkabetz tends against firing Meidan outright, conditional on him explaining his actions to the public. It bears adding that Meidan is not a civilian employee of the Israeli army but a service vendor.

Kobi Meidan's Facebook post: "Today I am ashamed to be Israeli"

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Radio 103 FM that he’s “ashamed to have a radio host of the type on Army Radio.” "If Meidan feels such shame," Lieberman said, “if he has any integrity, he should quit the station."

<< Lieberman warns Gaza protesters: 'Hamas is playing with your lives'  ■ Israel's failure on the Gaza border could shift the crisis there from bad to worse | Analysis <<

Lieberman did not, however, tell Elkabetz what he should do. The minister vaguely stated that “he should do his duty.”

Gilad Erdan, the Minister for Public Security and Strategic Affairs, also weighed in during an interview with Army Radio on Monday, criticizing Meidan for his statement.

Erdan said of Meidan that if he was "truly moral," then he would "give up the keys and say that 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.

Labor Party Chairman Avi Gabbay wrote on Twitter on Monday that he's "very proud to be an Israeli, but is strongly opposed to being rejected on the grounds of freedom of expression."

Around 30,000 Palestinians had rallied throughout the Gaza Strip last week during the “March of Return,” a series of mass protests along the Israel-Gaza border. At least 15 Palestinians were shot dead and dozens more were wounded during hours of clashes with Israeli soldiers after protesters threw stones and firebombs toward soldiers stationed along the fence.

Army Radio and Meidan declined to comment for this report.