Former MK and Walla editor-in-chief Yinon Magal said on a radio show on Monday that if he were Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he would shoot journalists critical of him.
Magal’s statements immediately drew fire after his graphic description of killing journalists came to light.
“If I were [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu], long ago I would have pulled out a submachine gun and shot — I don’t want to say at all of you, not you, but the rest of you — brrrrrr, bursts of bullets, like Rocky, like Rambo, with the ammo belt going down,” Magal said to Ben Caspit on Radio103, mimicking the sound of automatic gunfire.
“All the journalists, who for years, every Friday, are crucifying him, brrrrrrrrrrr, bullets! Grenades! 21, 23, 23, Boom!” said Magal, who briefly served as a Knesset member for the national religious Jewish Home party before leaving due to sexual harassment allegations.
Police investigators announced plans to hand over the recording to the State Attorney’s Office to decide whether to open a criminal investigation into his remarks.
After being challenged, Magal claimed the comments were “satire.”
קחו 50 שניות, תישענו אחורה ותקשיבו לינון מגל קורא לרצוח את כל העיתונאים שמבקרים את נתניהו. pic.twitter.com/STxij8MMMg
— Yair Marom (@yair_marom) September 14, 2020
The Israeli Press Council issued a statement condemning Magal’s words.
“We hope that during an unprecedented governmental, economic and health crisis, and at a dangerous time of rising tensions and social division, during which a spark could turn into a deadly conflagration, we won’t see any more shows like this, even not as ‘satire,'” it said.
Radio103 responded to the backlash in a statement, saying, ”The station views severely any incitement to harm journalists and their freedom of expression and full activity.”
It called Magal’s comments an unsuccessful attempt at satire.
The statement concluded by emphasizing that Magal’s comments, and others like it, ”have no place on our broadcast.”