(photo credit: )
Foreign language broadcasters at Israel Radio are angry because they feel that
they’ve been denigrated by their colleagues.
On Wednesday, Yaron Dekel in
his program Hakol Diburim (It’s all Talk), on the Hebrew-language Reshet Bet,
interviewed Dorit Golender, who is due to leave this week for Moscow to take up
her appointment as ambassador to Russia.
Golender does not have a
diplomatic background, and Foreign Ministry career diplomats say the posting is
too important to be given to someone inexperienced in diplomacy, even though the
Lithuanianborn Golender is a native Russian-speaker.
Golender, who was
known to be active in the Israel Beiteinu party of Foreign Minister Avigdor
Lieberman, was appointed by him, despite objections from within the
For the past 16 years, she headed the Russian Division of Radio
Reka, in which capacity she has met with and interviewed leading figures from
all walks of life. She believes that this experience has to a major extent
prepared her for her new role.
In the interview, both Dekel and Golender
gave the impression that Radio Reka is purely a Russian-language radio network –
which of course, is not the case. Radio Reka, of which Golender was one of the
founders, initially went to air during the 1990-1 Gulf War, when it was realized
that many new immigrants who were largely ignorant of what to do in emergency
situations needed to be informed in languages that they could
Dekel kept referring to Golender as the manager of Radio
Reka, an inaccurate title, in that the head of Radio Reka is Shmuel Ben-Zvi.
Golender was head of the Russian language division, whose broadcasts admittedly
have more listeners than those in other languages, but that should not have
caused her to say: “Radio Reka is an Israeli station in the Russian
Nor should it have caused Dekel to remark that there used to
be broadcasts in Hungarian, as if to imply that Russian is now the only foreign
language broadcast on Reka.
As it happens, Hungarian is one of 14
languages broadcast on Radio Reka, which also include English, French, Amharic,
Farsi, Ladino and Yiddish.
An Israel Broadcasting Authority spokesman
downplayed the inaccurate impression created by both Dekel and Golender, by
telling The Jerusalem Post
that the main purpose of the interview was to
highlight the fact that the head of the Russian division had been appointed
ambassador to Russia, but acknowledged that he had read the transcript of the
broadcast several times.
There are two core divisions in Reka.
is the Russian division, whose new head is veteran newsman Michael Gilboa, who
used to broadcast on Israel Radio’s foreign language shortwave service. The
other division, headed by Allegra Amado, covers the 13 other
REKA is an acronym for Reshet Klitat Aliya (the immigrant
Reka, as a word on its own in Hebrew, also means
background, and language is the background of every new immigrant.
was a major hue and cry some years ago when the shortwave service became the
victim of budgetary constraints, but Israel’s foreign language broadcasters now
admit that Reka via Internet caters to much wider audiences, since listeners are
no longer bound to specific time frames, but can call up recorded broadcasts
almost anywhere in the world at an hour to their liking. The shortwave
broadcasts could not always be picked up in certain countries, whereas the
Internet broadcasts, whether live or recorded, can be picked up wherever there
is any kind of Internet connection.