Israel: Loving and Hating Yonit Levi

Yonit Levi is the beloved anchorwoman for Israel's Channel 2.  Over the past few days, however, she has become a pariah in the blogosphere for her reactions to the current crisis in Gaza, deemed as sympathetic to Palestinians.  According to an article in the Jerusalem Post, Levi was often shown on camera raising her eyebrows when mentioning the IDF, and looking sorrowful when discussing Palestine.  Her facial expressions resulted in the creation of a petition [HE] to have her removed from the air, which garnered over 35,000 in just a few short days.  The organizers of the petition have since stated that they believe their actions helped, as Levi is no longer making such expressions.  A counter-petition was also organized in support of Levi. reacted strongly and swiftly in Levi's favor:

In a post a while ago I discussed Fox News as an example of how low TV News Channels can take the news and the absurd of having to sell yourself as “Fair and Balanced” when that’s the last thing you ever will be. Yonit Levi is ACTUALLY fair and balanced and doesn’t need to sell it. She has been doing this for a long time and has been presenting the news in professional even tone, void of personal views and opinions.

In short, Yonit we love you ! Keep up the great work.

A fan poses with Yonit Levi
A fan poses with Yonit Levi

Israeli-Canadian blogger Lisa Goldman discusses the general media reaction from Israel, mentioning Levi's situation:

According to the polls, 90 percent of Israelis support the Gaza campaign. I find that number quite worrying: public debate and a diversity of opinion are, as Ohad notes in this post, essential characteristics of a healthy democracy; and anyone who has expressed even the mildest anti-war sentiment can testify to the intimidating responses that have, I noticed, cowed many people into silence.

The intimidation ranges from verbal violence (”traitor!” “fifth columnist”) to the threat of being fired from one’s job – as in the case of Channel 2 anchor Yonit Levi. One friend even received death threats – via Facebook, if you can believe it. Assuming, though, that all the people polled about the war know that the Israeli media’s reporting has been controlled by the army spokesman’s iron fist; and assuming that everyone polled is both well-informed about what is really going on in Gaza and unafraid to voice an opinion that deviates from what we are constantly told is the mainstream, that still leaves one person out of 10 opposing the war. In this edition, Time Out Tel Aviv gives them a voice. Below are some translated excerpts.

Creative Commons-licensed photo by YuvalH


  • Stan R

    Anas, unfortunatelly the Hamas use of children as a shields is not a BS but fact. There are videos floating on web.One is on IDF website. Iam sure you can Google it. Also you can go on the, few days ego they had a excellent story “people’s war” where they basically condone and describe reasons for use of innocent people as a shield. It was part of the Lebanon war and it’s part of this war. People who are for peace at any cost, many times cause more deaths.

  • Dear Stan,

    Amnesty International claims that Israel has also used human shields, both in 2006 and now.

    Malcolm Smart, its Middle East director, said:

    “Our sources in Gaza report that Israeli soldiers have entered and taken up positions in a number of Palestinian homes, forcing families to stay in a ground floor room while they use the rest of their house as a military base and sniper position. This clearly increases the risk to the Palestinian families concerned and means they are effectively being used as human shields.”

    But I’m sure you’d believe an Israeli over a Palestinian, right?

  • Dörte

    are you very much shocked if I say that the IDF website might possibly be a tiny bit partial as a source of information?

    I long for independant information. Possibly Hamas used civilians as human shields. Possibly the IDF did the same. Who did not let the international press enter the Gaza strip? You probably know the answer. Obviously, Israel wants to hide some nasty actions. If they’ve nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear from the press. It makes me suspicious.

    Unluckily I’ve got a memory. I remember well that Israel denied using cluster bombs throughout the Lebanon war. Everybody who suspected they did in fact use cluster bombs was accused of being anti-Israel or anti-semitic or a supporter of terrorism. After the war it emerged that Israel had fired an incredible lot of cluster bombs into Lebanon. Would you call the information IDF gave a little misunderstanding or a fat lie?

    Now we are made to believe that Israel never used phosphoric bombs in Gaza, the death of civilians is Hamas’s fault, schools and hospitals were military targets and the UNRWA is a branch of Hamas. I see. Nice to have been told.

  • Exactly. Let reporters into Gaza and then perhaps you won’t have such a hard time convincing people. Until Israel does that, however, I won’t believe a single piece of news that comes out of there.

  • Pingback: Jillian C. York

    […] GV’s intent is not to be biased, and unfortunately, not everyone believes that.  But I’m not thanking GV in an official capacity, anyway.  It is the incredible people […]

  • […] cc creative commons, Bestimmte Rechte vorbehalten, via flickr Dieser Beitrag erschien zuerst auf Global Voices. Die Übersetzung erfolgte durch Paul Lanon, Teil des “Project Lingua“. Die […]

  • Here’s a Photo of the IDF using children as Human Shields, a photo is worth a million words:

  • Stan R

    First to Jillian:
    Dear Jillian: Two wrongs doesn’t make it right. When it comes to Hamas it’s part of theirs strategy as per Aljazeera. That’s premediated war crime.

    Now to Dorte (sorry my computer doesn’t have o with ..)
    Dear Dorte,
    I don’t think that IDF sodier had been standing besides racket luncher in Gaza and filmed Hamas guy grabbing kids and pulling them toward launcher. You have a very low opinion about average “Joe the Plumber” Palestinians, they don’t know what is right and wrong.

    Sometimes in the eagerness to defend “underdog”, truth is swept under the rug.

  • Stan R

    Dear Anas:
    I am not going to defend the picture. But you can not compare one where you try to stop group of “stupid” kids throwing the stones to war where other side will shoot if they are shoot against.

    This at most it’s bad judgment at the side of soldiers. The boy was not in danger. I don’t think his friends would throw stones at him. Or you think that teenage Palestinian kids are bloodthirsty killers. If I was you, better question would be to ask his father: Do you know where your kid is?

    It’s same like here in “western world” parents don’t take care of their kids and then they play supprised ” my kid??? he so goooood boy or girl!”

    I have a saying ” if kid gets into trouble, panish the parents” I believe it works all over the world.

  • Stan R

    Dear Anas,

    just trying to add connection to cnn interview. Let see if it works.
    Embedded video from CNN Video

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