‘Elitist’ Who Insulted Shas, Sephardim Booted From Channel Ten

Shas party leader Aryeh Deri speaks during a party faction meeting at the Knesset, on May 23, 2016. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** ?''? ?? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???????
Shas party leader Rabbi Aryeh Deri speaks during a party faction meeting at the Knesset. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Rami Sadan, the “elitist” who nearly brought down the government last June, has been booted off the board of directors of Channel Ten, as Shas had demanded — except that the cause for his removal was not the comments he made that Shas said were insulting to Sephardic Jewry, but because he apparently lied in order to get the job.

According to a report in Haaretz, Sadan, at a meeting with the board of directors of Channel Ten, of which he had just been appointed chairman, said that “the truth is that I am of the ‘elites’ of society, like you. I hate Aryeh Deri. We, as an elite, must break through the fences that keep the channel from spreading to a wider audience. We have to appeal to the Shas crowd, to Mas’uda from Sderot,” using a pejorative reference to 1950s immigrants with Arabic names. Sadan has said that his comments were taken out of context, and that “someone is trying to cause fights between different segments of the religious community.”

Shas demanded that Channel Ten fire Sadan, threatening to leave the government, or at least abstain on several key pieces of legislation. Sadan denied the comments, and an investigation by the attorney general’s office failed to uncover definitive proof of the comments. Shas MKs said at the time that even if Sadan apologized for the remarks Shas regarded as racist, the party would still demand his resignation. In an interview, a Shas MK said that “a person like this has no place in public service. It is clearly an attitude that is deeply embedded in his being.” In the end, Sadan proffered an apology to those who may have been hurt by anything he said, although he still did not admit to the comments.

Several weeks after the incident, TheMarker reported that there were inconsistencies in Sadan’s application for the job. One of the requirements for the position was employment for five years as the public relations director for a large institution, and Sadan’s claim for that status was his work as media director for Shaare Zedek Hospital. But it turned out that Sadan was only partially employed in that job — he worked part time as administrator in the hospital’s public relations office, and not as director. As a result, Sadan was dismissed from his position, with the Second Broadcasting Authority saying that it was satisfied that the decision was made “after an intensive and in-depth examination over the past several months.”

In a statement, Shas chairman Rabbi Aryeh Deri said that he “congratulated the the Second Authority and the Channel Ten board of directors for dismissing Rami Sadan. A man like this who smeared the ethnic background of hundreds of thousands of Shas voters and millions of Sephardic citizens has no place in the news business and at the head of an Israeli news organization. Rami Sadan should have been fired immediately after his comments were uncovered, but better late than never. I would recommend that anyone who attempted to cover up or defend his comments consider their spiritual condition now, on Erev Yom Kippur.”