‘Secular journalists sometimes better than religious ones’

August 1, 2016  

Speaking Sunday night on Kol BeRama, MK Yisrael Eichler (United Torah Judaism) discussed the challenges he faces in presenting the haredi public to journalists from outside of the community.

While engaging with secular journalists requires bridging a sometimes formidable cultural gulf, Eichler claims national-religious journalists are frequently the most difficult for haredi representatives to deal with.

“There is a serious problem with the definition of ‘haredi’; haredim with truly haredi worldviews are lacking in the mainstream media, sometimes a secular person who is very far from you is better than a national-religious person who needs to show [the public] that he is hostile [towards haredim]. That’s why [former Defense Minister Moshe] Yaalon, who grew up in a Kibbutz, was better for haredim.”

Eichler’s comments come in the midst of a contentious debate within the coalition regarding the makeup of the planned Public Broadcasting Corporation’s reporting staff.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) claimed the mainstream media lacked sufficient representation of both haredi and Sefardic journalists.

“I am the chairman of a haredi Sefardic party,” said Deri. “I represent people who must always defend themselves and to explain themselves to the media. I will give a reward to anyone who can find a haredi journalist with a black kippa in the mainstream media.”

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