Why Does Haim Yavin Hate Israel?

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Why Does Haim Yavin Hate Israel?

Israel's most respected TV news anchor took a firm stand against Israeli settlers and occupation that could sway public opinion much as his U.S. counterpart did on the Vietnam war nearly 40 years ago.

For four decades, Haim Yavin has anchored the evening news on Israel's public TV channel, building an image as a dispassionate reporter. On Tuesday, for the first time, he dropped his mask, screening the first of his five-part series of documentaries, coming down hard against Israel's occupation of the West Bank and its treatment of Palestinians....

When CBS-TV icon Walter Cronkite returned from a 1968 reporting trip to Vietnam and told his viewers in an editorial comment that the United States could not win the war, then-U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson observed that if he had lost Cronkite, he had lost middle America. Similarly, Yavin's stand could mark a watershed in how his nation views its four-decade rule over the Palestinians.

Yavin, a founder of Israel's public TV station in 1968, is known here as "Mr. TV" and commands considerable respect.

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