Army Radio has suspended its culture reporter Gidi Orsher, after he posted comments on social media that were deemed to be offensive to Sephardic and Mizrachi Jews. Commenting on the matter on Motzoei Shabbos, Interior Minister and Shas head Rabbi Aryeh Deri called Orsher “the lowest kind of racist, who incites entire populations and relates to them with a patronizing attitude, and with terrible racism.”
Orsher, commenting on what he called the “war on culture” being waged by Culture Minister Miri Regev, wrote that “all the Kachlonim [referring to Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon, of Yemenite background] and the Shas types and the ‘Eastern Rainbow’ [a reference to a secular group that promotes Mizrachi culture], all the professional whiners from the East – next time you have a heart attack [over criticism of an aspect of your culture] don’t bother with a heart procedure. Just put a chicken’s foot on your head like your grandmothers did. The next time you gather in a bomb shelter when the missiles are falling, forget about Iron Dome and just say Tehillim.” Orsher made numerous other comments in this vein.
Public reaction to the post was fierce, to the extent that Army Radio said that it felt it had no choice but to suspend Orsher in its wake. Regev said that she welcomed the move. “He has proven just how deep the patronizing attitude of the ‘cultural elites’ is. As far as I am concerned, he is a ‘zero’ on the Miri Regev scale,” a reference to Orsher’s method of rating cultural events.
In a statement, Army Radio said that “there is no place for the comments made by Gidi Orsher, and we reject them completely. We shall continue to ensure that all Israelis have a voice on our station.”