No Grounds to Suspend Controversial TV Appointment, AG Says

Rami Sadan could be removed as chairman of Channel 10 News in the event High Court accepts petition citing alleged remarks against Shas.

Rami Sadan, new board chair of Channel 10 News, left, with Shas leader and Interior Minister Arye Dery.
Eliyahu Hershkovitz, YouTube

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit is opposed to suspending Rami Sadan’s appointment as chairman of Israel Channel 10 News until the High Court of Justice rules on a petition in the matter. Sadan is a public relations professional and associate of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The petitioners are demanding “to invalidate the appointment of Mr. Rami Sadan as public director in the Channel 10 news company, and in particular to cancel his appointment as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Channel 10 news company, in light of his racist remarks during the process of his appointment to the position.”

The petition against the Second Television and Radio Authority, the authority council, the Channel 10 news company, Sadan himself and the attorney general was submitted by several attorneys.

The opposition to issuing an interim order was expressed on Thursday in the state’s reply to the High Court of Justice by attorney Michal Tzuk-Shafir of the State Prosecutor’s Office, on behalf of Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit.

The reply submitted today states that Sadan’s appointment was carried out in accordance with the Second Television and Radio Authority Law and therefore is not under the formal authority of the attorney general. In addition, the authority is presently in the process of conducting an investigation regarding the comments attributed to Sadan. In light of these, replied the State Prosecutor’s Office, there is no reason to postpone the appointment, since it is a reversible step and can be revoked if the court decides that there is reason to do so.

The furor surrounding Sadan’s appointment began when early this month Haaretz reported that Sadan had made blatantly racist remarks against Shas and its chairman, Interior Ministry Arye Dery, at a meeting of the channel’s board of directors at which he presented his candidacy for the position. “Let’s admit the truth, I, like you in the elite, detest Shas and that thief Arye Dery. But we, as an elite, need to reach beyond the channel’s usual circles, to appeal to the Shas audience, to Masouda from Sderot,” that is, a Moroccan-born women from a development town.”

Sadan denied the accusations in an open letter to Dery and to the party’s Knesset members last week, writing that he was in a serious relationship “with a wonderful Moroccan woman for the purpose of marriage. Does that sound like a Mizrahi-hater? A Shas-hater?”

Continuing, Sadan wrote: “I write to you with a bleeding heart, because I no longer have the strength to remain silent, For the past week my blood has been spilled, in vain.”

He added that a racist and someone who hates Mizrahim cannot serve in a public position: “It is unthinkable and I’m not even capable of thinking or feeling hatred.”