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Israeli Russian Public Still on Liberman’s Side

Despite the trial against former Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, or maybe because of it, the Israeli Russian public stands by him.
Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman stands in the Hall of Remembrance during a visit to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington June 17, 2009. An elderly gunman linked to an anti-Jewish website killed a security guard at the museum on June 10.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst    (UNITED STATES CRIME LAW POLITICS) - RTR24RDV
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In May 2013, former Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon gave his incriminating testimony in the trial of former Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman concerning the appointment of Israel’s ambassador to Belarus. Ayalon’s testimony is now the main pivot of the affair, which naturally made major headlines in all the Israeli media. The website of Channel 9 — the only Russian-language channel in Israel — also covered the court testimony of the former deputy minister. But keen-eyed online surfers noticed that after a while, the testimony disappeared from the site.

The story behind the mysterious disappearance of that news item reveals the great influence that Liberman still wields over the major Israeli Russian-language media outlets, and through them over the Russian-speaking public in Israel. The office of the Yisrael Beiteinu chairman and former foreign minister was greatly displeased with the prominence accorded to Ayalon’s testimony on the site, and demanded its removal. Eventually, the two sides reached a compromise: The testimony was posted on the site once again, but in an obscure location. So obscure, that even the most competent of online surfers had a hard time finding it. It’s there, but in fact it isn’t.

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