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Labor Party Deal With Channel 2 Reporter Shuts Competing Party Out of Election Coverage

Shelly Yachimovich colluded to restrict media coverage of Eretz Chadasha (Yehoshua Yosef)

In my conversations with leaders of the Eretz Chadasha Party, they noted that it had been shut out of news coverage by most of the major Israeli media.  Now I know why, at least in the case of one TV channel.  Labor Party chief, Shelly Yachimovitch made a deal with Channel 2’s politics reporter Rina Matzliach: in return for the latter agreeing not to report on the Party, Yachimovitch would offer her exclusive leaks.

What makes this an even dirtier deal that what I’ve outlined above is that Matzliach said on air yesterday that the real reason she didn’t cover Eretz Chadasha was that she founded its leader, Eldad Yaniv, “untrustworthy.”  Hell, if you used that rule to determine which party leaders got coverage in Israel there’d be no political coverage at all.  Her claim was disingenuous.  So much so, that the NGO La’Daat filed a formal press complaint against Matzliach.

Now we know that interview was a total smokescreen, and the real reason she shut the Party out was a good old fashioned back-room deal.  In commerce, it would be called restraint of trade, and both of them would be hauled in for questioning.  In media and politics, it’s par for the course.

In case anyone out there doubts this story, here are two of the “exclusives” Yachimovitch gave Matzliach.  In one, Yachimovitch was the secret source who revealed (Hebrew) that Gen. (res.) Uri Sagi had joined Labor’s campaign as a Knesset candidate and its senior security expert (note the caption saying pirsum rishon or “Exclusive Report”).  The second story conveyed a juicy scoop that Sagi was resigning because a woman complained that he’d harassed her years before when they both served in the IDF.  The latter  story was reported by Amit Siegal and not Matzliach, so as to cover Yachimovitch’s tracks and divert anyone attempting to trace the source of the stories.  Thanks to a senior source inside the Labor party, we don’t need to.  We know it.

UPDATED: Segal has tweeted calling me a “lying fantasist” without offering any substantive rebuttal of this story.  In fact, he appears not to have even read  this post because he claims that I said he was party to the deal with Matzliach and Yachimovich, which isn’t what I wrote.  But he has done me the favor of linking to this post so his tweeps can read it too.  Those charges of lying coming from him are rich since his employer, Channel 2, was forced to settle a libel suit brought against him by Hebrew University Prof. Amiram Goldblum, in which the station paid the victim for the damage to his reputation.

I’ve already reported here that sources in at least one competing party (guess which one?) originated bogus SMS messages to voters telling them polls showed Eretz Chadasha wasn’t going to pass the electoral threshold and that they shouldn’t waste their vote.  Now we know the fix was in.  The Labor Party is the same as any other party willing to use any and all tricks in the book to suppress votes for competitors.  Yachimovitch made a pretence of representing real change as she embraced the social justice movement that’d taken to the streets of Tel Aviv two summers ago.  She was supposed to be a breath of fresh air.  There is indeed a smell emanating from her leadership of the campaign, but it isn’t the smell of fresh air.  It’s the smell of dirty tricks politics as usual.

Some of this may be why Labor’s polling fell as the campaign continued.  From a high of 20 seats it declined till it actually won 15, a distinct disappointment for those who hoped for a resurgence of the Party.  This story certainly won’t burnish Yachimovitch’s leadership of the election campaign or the Party in general.

A few readers here were dubious about my claims of fraud and manipulation of the political process to subvert the electoral chances of Eretz Chadasha.  Maybe they’ll want to re-evaluate that judgment now.

There may be legitimate criticisms of Eretz Chadasha and its leaders.  I’m making no judgment on that issue since some I know have expressed such views.  But the place for those criticisms and that debate about the Party is in public forums and the media.  Such collusion by Matzliach and Yachimovitch cheapens what little is left of Israeli democracy.  In this case, a reporter and politician have engaged in an unholy pact to advance their own interests at the expense of the overall political system.


{ 15 comments… add one }
  • nadav yesod February 4, 2013, 3:56 AM

    do you have proof ?

    • Richard Silverstein February 4, 2013, 6:47 PM

      When you offer proof for all the Israeli reporters who themselves use inside sources then I’ll offer you proof. Amazing the hypocrisy of readers willing to be gullible for Israeli MSM, but who have completely different standards for a blog like this. Is it because Israeli journalists have such a stellar track record with THEIR anonymous sources?

  • political animal February 4, 2013, 4:20 AM


    Everybody but I mean everybody knows that Rina and Shelly are enemies, they would not make any deal. Rina did not get any licks from Shelly the entire campaign. On the contrary, the one who did get licks from Shelly was Amit Segal, the younger and the much more talnted reporter for channel 2 news, who is also Rina’s rival in the same news system. The entire covrege of Shelly and the Labour party by Rina Matsliach was hateful, twisted and swamped with inaccuracy.

    You are damaging the credibility of your own blog by publishing such rabish.

  • Guy February 4, 2013, 5:18 AM

    Do you have any way to show the credibility of your sources for this information?

    • Richard Silverstein February 4, 2013, 6:40 PM

      Yes, the past track record of this source. BTW, do you request the same of every Israeli reporter who uses anonymous sources for their own reporting?

      Do you want a tape recording of Yachimovich & Matzliach conspiring? Sorry. All I can provide is the word of a veteran Labor Party insider. You’ll have to take his word or not.

      • Guy February 5, 2013, 12:09 AM

        it certainly wasn’t meant as an accusation. I’m aware that a vague description of the source is what is generally accepted. I was asking if there perhaps might be anything else to update, more specific or corroborating info. I’m fine with “anonymous sources”, I take them for what they’re worth (better than nothing).

        • Richard Silverstein February 5, 2013, 2:48 AM

          @Guy: Since my source continues as a veteran Labor Party member I don’t want to push for further evidence since it could expose his identity to those named in this story.

          Sorry for being snippy. It’s hard to separate people who are serious like you from people who merely enjoying being negative & dismissing the veracity of my reports.

  • djf February 4, 2013, 5:44 AM

    I honestly don’t understand why Eretz is seen as threatening to Labor. Isn’t a rejuvenated left in Labor’s interest?

    • Richard Silverstein February 4, 2013, 6:30 PM

      If you treat politics the old fashioned way as they did in places like Tammany Hall, there’s a pie & if there’s someone else he’s going to steal your slice. Hacks like Yachimovich don’t understand that the more excitement & interest there are the better all on the left can do. As Jesse Jackson used to say, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Yachimovich wants to use the tide to raise her boat & sink everyone else’s.

  • avishai February 4, 2013, 7:11 AM

    There is no evidence here. You are just accusing Shelly Yakhimovich by hearsay. Where is your evidence? not professional.

    • Richard Silverstein February 4, 2013, 6:38 PM

      I wonder whether you say similar things abouut Rina Matzliach, Amit Segal or all the other Israeli press corps who publish reports based on anonymous sources. I’ll bet you don’t. Why would that be? Why would you try to hold me to a different, higher standard than them? And don’t dare tell me becauae they have a better track record because they don’t. In fact, Amit Segal was sued by Prop. Amiram Goldblum for libel & Channel 2 settled the case & paid the victim for his troubles.

  • קורינה הסופרת February 4, 2013, 12:14 PM

    סליחה ריצ’רד, אני מקווה שמותר לרשום תגובות בעברית. השאלה. בכל לשון של בקשה, היא האם תרצה/יתאפשר לחשוף אחת מן הרעות בשרשרת עושק מנוצלי השואה:
    בית המשפט פסק באופן גורף שהמכונה “הרשות לזכויות ניצולי השואה” שליד משרד האוצר, טועה בחישוב אחוזי ה”נכות” לרעת מי שאני מכנה ‘מנוצלי השואה’.
    תצא נא הוראה גורפת שהרשות תעבור על כל התיקים ותתקן לפי החישוב הנכון עליו ציווה בית המשפט – הודות לתביעה חכמה ורגישה של עו”ד יוסי חיות מהקליניקה לסיוע משפטי לניצולי השואה שליד אוניברסיטת תל אביב.
    רבבות א/נשים נעשקים כל אחד ואחת ממאות עד אלף ש”ח לחודש שהיו יכולים לשפר במשהו חיי מצוקה – ואילו הרשות דנן מתקנת רק כשיש תביעה ספציפית, אחד לאחד.

    עד כה ידוע לי רק על שלושה תיקוני חישוב שבוצעו וזאת רק בעקבות פסיקת בית המשפט.
    מה תעשה כדי למחוק את החרפה אחת ולתמיד הקצר שעוד נותר?

  • political animal February 5, 2013, 12:18 AM


    “All I can provide is the word of a veteran Labor Party insider. You’ll have to take his word or not”.

    are you seirious Richard? because this just proves that this story is fiction. When a Labour veteran says such a thing – I know its a lie.

    • Richard Silverstein February 5, 2013, 2:45 AM

      @political animal: Now you’re just talking like an idiot. And I don’t respect idiots. So if you want to be an one, be one elsewhere. As for fiction, I wish you were. If you continue annoying me with nonsense you’ll be moderated & outa here. As for whether or not I’m serious: about moderating or banning you? As serious as a heart attack.

  • zipi February 7, 2013, 4:45 AM

    This story has no source. How do we know you are not inventing? and why you insult readers by saying they talk like idiot? answer question. Don’t insult.

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