A group of rabbis from the religious-Zionist sector penned a letter yesterday calling on the public to not purchase products from the Strauss Group manufacturer after Strauss announced it would stop advertising on Channel 14 in response to its right-wing pundit Ari Shamai called for the release of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassin, Yigal Amir, who is serving a life sentence.
Strauss stated that they stopped their advertising also due to “various offensive statements, repeated over and over in the programs broadcast on the channel.” After the announcement, Channel 14 addressed Strauss on Wednesday with a letter in which the channel claims the manufacturing company acted illegally.
“We are appalled by Strauss’s decision to use their political power to impose a political agenda on public opinion in Israel,” the rabbis’ letter said. “The desire to boycott Channel 14 reminds all of us of the dark times of communist Russia. We cannot sit back and we want to announce that, from today, our yeshiva and educational institutions will not purchase products from companies that publicly boycott in Israel, which harms the freedom of expression and the unity of the people. We call on our students and their families to follow our path.”
The letter also claims that “the decision to boycott a media outlet that expresses a clear voice that is loyal to Israel’s tradition to national and Zionist values is not a one-off decision of a media organization, but a boycott and danger to a large public in Israel.”
Channel 14 addressed Strauss in a letter on Wednesday with a demand to end the boycott of the channel.
The petition states that Strauss is a publicly owned company and that the company’s managers “must not apply their personal political position while using the company’s resources, and in this case even to the detriment of the company,” Mako quoted the channel as saying. The letter also claims that the decision made is “a political decision by the Strauss leaders, and not a decision in favor of Strauss, and was made illegally.”
Kaplan Force statement
The protest organization Kaplan Force issued a response to the “extremist” rabbis on their decision, stating that “no wonder the one who heads the group of rabbis defending the propaganda channel 14 is Dov Lior, who issued a persecutory judgment against Rabin.
The goal of that group of rabbis of darkness is to turn Israel into a messianic dictatorship. We encourage the general public to buy Strauss products and protect any company that stands by liberal democratic values.