Tuesday September 1, 2015
Israel Hayom
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The hypocrisy of Yedioth Ahronoth
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Boaz Bismuth

Offered and declined, with respect

The State of Israel has approached me on three different occasions to offer me a job. The first time, in February 2004, then-Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom (under the auspices of the Sharon-Likud government) asked me to serve as ambassador to Mauritania. Posted in Paris at the time, working for Yedioth Ahronoth, I accepted the offer.

On the second occasion, in the summer of 2006, then-Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni (under the Olmert-Kadima government) requested that I extend by two years my posting in the Arab country. Once again, I agreed -- despite the great difficulties involved with remaining there.

The third time, in 2010, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked that I help find a humanitarian solution to the illegal entry of African infiltrators. The prime minister believed I had the appropriate skills.

Upon receiving the offer, I immediately consulted with my editor, Amos Regev. I admit that I deliberated over the matter. While journalism was a way of life for me, I was also proud to have been asked to serve my country. You do not say "no" to the prime minister lightly, a fact made clearer by many of my colleagues who have served in different prime ministers' offices over the years.

In the end, I neither accepted the position nor negotiated the terms of my contract, which I did not sign (even if I had been told that such a contract had been prepared for me).

I never sat face-to-face with either the prime minister or his representatives to discuss the position in depth.

When the first article about this story made headlines in Globes this week, I was asked to comment. However, my comment never made it into the article. Why ruin another "scoop" that would humiliate, in the paper's opinion, the prime minister? No big deal if in the process, it tarnishes a journalist's good reputation.


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