Stung by Twitter Criticism, Eli Yishai Wants 'Big Brother' Host Azar Dismissed

Interior Minister Eli Yishai has sent a letter to the CEO of Channel 2 franchisee Keshet demanding that he fire "Big Brother" presenter Assi Azar because of the celebrity's Twitter tweets criticizing the minister.

Asi Azar
Yuval Tebol

Responding to Yishai's attempt to revoke Balad MK Hanin Zuabi's citizenship, Azar wrote in his Twitter account: "I am interested in revoking the citizenship of our stupid Interior Minister Eli Yishai. He is a disgrace to the Knesset, the government and above all the religious world. So much ignorance in one person."

The minister's spokesman Roi Lachmanovitch thus sent a letter to Keshet CEO Avi Nir on Sunday demanding that Azar be dismissed immediately from the reality show.

"Azar leads the show with the highest ratings, and he is a personality with whom young people identify," Lachmanovitch told Haaretz. "They say Twitter is a private place for expressing opinions, but it is the town square, and it is untenable that a person who writes there give free rein to a worldview that backs Hanin Zuabi. The only way to eradicate the shame Azar has written is to fire him."

A Facebook group has now been set up called "Revoking Eli Yishai's Citizenship." People close to Azar say they were shocked by Yishai's letter because Twitter is a private medium where people express personal opinions.

Keshet said it has not yet received the letter, while Azar was not immediately available for comment.