Haredi radio station Kol Barama
has decided to fire a radio talk show host after he offended leaders of the religious Zionist
In his radio show, focusing on Jewish faith and national issues," anchor Avraham Tamir said that religious Zionism is "'a cancer at the body of the Jewish faith," and that "its rabbis are criminals, trying to bring down Jewish faith."
Tamir's radio program was part of a series of conversations about the "national rift" and the issue of the universal draft.
Referring to Rabbi David Stav,
who called upon haredim
to enlist in the IDF,
Tamir said he was "either a heretic or a fool, and most likely both." And to Rabbi Eliezer Melamed,
who also encouraged haredim to join the army, Tamir referred as a "brat" and a "fool."
In the days following the media frenzy surrounding Tamir's slander, Amiad Taub of The Jewish Home Party, sent a letter to Kol Barama manager Yaron Kaner. "Tamir's derogatory statements about the religious-Zionist sector go against journalistic ethics," Taub wrote, "and were ironically broadcast during the nine days preceding the Tisha B'Av
fast – a day in which the people of Israel mourn the destruction of the Temple due to baseless hatred. My friends and I will not cooperate with a radio station that allows such slander against our rabbis."
"In case your station continues to employ this inciter," Taub continued "we, representatives of religious Zionism, will make sure all religious Zionists know about your support of such provocations and call to ban your station as long as Mr. Tamir is still working."
Taub's letter was not left unanswered. He told Ynet: "About an hour after I had sent the letter, the station manager called me and told me that he fired Tamir, and that he personally called Rabbi Stav to apologize. This is undoubtedly proper conduct."
Station manager Kaner told Ynet: "We have an ethical code, but we have to make sure that temporary anchors also follow it. We intend to make sure that all our presenters follow protocol."
According Kol Barama Radio's formal response, Tamir's words were "an unfortunate misspeak, with which the station does not identify." Station representative said: "We apologize to Rabbi Stav, as to anyone who was offended by the comment. In line with the decision of the station management, Rabbi Tamir will no longer be a part of the station programming."