חשיפה: המידע שנאסר לפרסום על המשכורת הגבוהה ששילם “ישראל היום” לעיתונאית אמילי עמרוסי לפני שפוטרה
A long-time columnist for the pro-Likud media outlet, Israel Hayom (aka “Bibiton”) was fired because, she claimed, she criticized then-PM Bibi Netanyahu in her column and supported his successor, Naftali Bennett. She is suing her former employer claiming it fired her at the behest of Netanyahu himself, who is known to keep close accounts of his enemies in the media (and is facing charges of tampering with media outlets to improve such coverage). She argues that aside from firing her unlawfully, it refused to pay her the compensation she was owed. She also complains that the editor offered her a non-disparagement agreement (NDA) by which in return for a $12,000, she would agree not to sue the paper. She refused and instead sued for $90,000. The complaint she filed in court listed the various amounts she was paid for her work.
“Siri, show me a Feminist Zionist?” – Israeli journalist Emily Amrousi’s comments yesterday on a dozen young Israeli men accused of gang-raping a young non-Israeli woman while vacationing in Cyprus pic.twitter.com/TgRaS2vy1p
— David Sheen (@davidsheen) July 27, 2019
One of Amrousi’s most infamous statements (see David Sheen’s video above) as a journalist concerned the young British woman gang-raped by 12 Israeli teenagers in Cyprus. The journalist began by acknowledging that feminists say that the truth of a rape victim’s account must always be acknowledged. So far so good. But she goes further, saying that just as feminists have a prejudice in favor of the victim, Zionists have a prejudice in favor of the Israeli. Therefore, despite being a woman and being expected to sympathize with a female victim, as an Israeli she feels she must believe a fellow Israeli, almost as an act of Zionist patriotism.
Returing to Israel HaYom, it was founded and funded by Sheldon Adelson as a personal political vehicle intended to sweep Netanyahu into the prime ministership. It succeeded beyond their wildest dreams and Netanyhau himself credits the paper with sealing his election victories. Adelson pumped $40-million of his own funds into it each year, $185-million between 2007, when it was founded, and 2014.
Amrousi worked there as a columnist since 2009. She also worked as a publicist for various clients. Her gross monthly salary was $5,500 for the weekly column she published. This later increased to just over $6,000, an extraordinarily high sum for such a position; and in a paper that was losing money hand-over-fist. She was also initially paid an additional $500 per month for additional articles she wrote (later increased to $750). She was also paid $200 for every opinion piece published by Israel Hayom. This gave her a gross annual salary that neared $80,000.
7th Eye is Israel’s media watchdog, reporting on the good, bad, and ugly aspects of Israeli journalism. It has reported diligently in the past on various lawsuits filed against me and itself has been sued by individuals like Walter Soriano, who sued me as well. In Amrousi’s case, she filed documents with the court which listed her compensation and 7th Eye reported them (see screenshot above). When she appealed to the publication to delete the numbers, it refused because the court document is a public record. She then appealed to the court to slap a gag order on publishing this information. She succeeded, and now 7th Eye has placed ‘***’ which indicate where the figures once were in the article.
Fortunately, the Wayback Machine retained an original version of the article with the sums listed. I’m displaying a screenshot for Israeli readers interested in promoting transparency and defying such foolish abuse of the judicial process. Why a journalist suing her employer over her wages should think that the amount of those wages should be secret from the public is beyond me. And I’m not going to participate in her charade.
I support journalists, especially female journalists, who feel they’ve been exploited or abused by their employers. But when there is a conflict between such support and the public’s right to know, I choose the latter.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.