Journalist Amiram Cohen apologized to Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein
on Tuesday, after an email he wrote saying Edelstein should “go back to Russia
where he belongs” became public.
Edelstein spent three-and-a-half years in
a Soviet labor camp as a ‘Prisoner of Zion’ before being allowed to immigrate to
Israel in 1987.
Last week, Edelstein’s spokesman Eran Sidis sent out a
press release, in which the minister criticized the High Court’s decision not to
delay the dismantling of the Migron outpost, calling it an “unparalleled
Cohen, who writes for the Haaretz-owned business newspaper The
Marker, responded to Sidis, saying that Edelstein’s reaction was an
“unparalleled scandal,” the High Court’s decision proves that there is justice
in Israel and Migron is on land that belongs to the Palestinian
Soon after, Sidis emailed Cohen: “You got really annoyed, huh?”
Cohen responded “it is not worth it to continue talking about a small, marginal
He should go back to Russia, where he belongs.”
wrote a letter of complaint to The Marker editor Sammy Peretz in which he called
Cohen’s email an insult to not just Edelstein, but everyone who immigrated to
Israel from the former Soviet Union.
“Do you, as editor, agree with Mr.
Cohen’s opinion that a Prisoner of Zion, who spent years in Soviet prison doing
hard labor until he was on the verge of death because he wanted to immigrate to
Israel, should ‘go back to Russia’ because he supports settlers in Judea and
Samaria and opposes a High Court decision?” Sidis asked.
Cohen told The
Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that that he apologized to Edelstein through Sidis,
and takes back his call for the minister to return to Russia.
reporter said his words were inappropriate, and written in the heat of an
In addition, Cohen explained that he respects all immigrants to
Israel from anywhere in the world, and that he believes that the immigration
from Russia and the FSU contributed greatly to Israel, in all areas of
However, the journalist lamented that a government minister should
use the expression “unparalleled scandal” to describe a High Court decision,
saying that such an expression is an example of “dangerous incitement against
judges in Israel, and is worthy of condemnation.”