(JTA) — An Israeli public radio station apologized for airing offensive statements about haredi Orthodox Jews on the eve of Independence Day.
In a satirical bit on Army Radio’s late night program, comedian Niv Majar recommended controlling overpopulation through cannibalism.
“We should go ahead and depopulate,” Majar said. “But there’s a paradox here because the people whose population I would like most to reduce are the haredim, but they probably taste awful, bland.”
Army Radio host Noa Tzinman interjected, “They stink because they eat matzah balls.”
On Friday, Army Radio released a statement that said the station “rejects offensive statements that were made about the Haredi public on Independence Day eve by a guest interviewee.”
The statements were “inappropriate and represent neither the station’s views nor its staff.” Army Radio apologized to anyone offended by the statements.
The statements, which come amid a heated debate in Israeli society on conscription of haredi Jews into the Israel Defense Forces — Army Radio’s owner and operator — triggered protests online and at the radio station.
Earlier this week, activists for the haredi lobbying group Dosim showed up at Army Radio’s Jaffa headquarters and handed out matzah balls to soldiers.