JERUSALEM (Jun. 18)
The Jerusalem Journalists Association has demanded that the Gush Emunim apologize publicly for a physical attack on television reporter Menashe Raz during a mass rally they organized in Tel Aviv Sunday night.
The rally, which drew a crowd of about 40,000 to Malchei Yisrael Square in Tel Aviv, was billed as a demonstration of support for 20 alleged members of a Jewish terrorist underground currently on trial for acts of violence against Arabs in the West Bank and others already convicted and serving sentences.
But it degenerated into angry polemics against Attorney General Yitzhak Zamir and the news media, especially television, which Gush Emunim speakers accused of bias against Jews and in favor of Arabs. Raz was roughed up by the crowd and his camera was smashed after a speaker shouted from the rostrum, “Menashe Raz–may his name be blotted out — is here. Israel television ought to be burned down.”
The Journalists Association said if an apology is not forthcoming within 48 hours the media will boycott the Gush Emunim.
At least one of the speakers at the rally, MK Avner Sciaky of the National Religious Party, expressed disgust at the behavior of the demonstrators. He said he would not have attended had he known the demonstration would have clearly racist overtones, a reference to the denunciations of all Arabs as terrorists.
Likud MK Michael Eitan, who left the rally before his turn to speak, said he did so because it was taken over by Kach activists.