Channel 10’s new chairman Rami Sadan on Wednesday again denied having made the racist comments attributed to him in a Haaretz report after he took control of the channel's directorate on Monday.
In an interview with Walla, Sadan said he refuses to resign over the scandal which has sparked a backlash, after the paper alleged that in a closed directorate meeting he cast racial aspersions against Mizrahi Jews and said he "hates" the Shas party and its chairperson Interior Minister Aryeh Deri.
He also said that Channel 10 CEO Golan Yochpaz, who came out claiming that Sadan had indeed made the remarks, was motivated by political interests.
"It isn't clear why they prefer to believe one senior employee (Yochpaz – ed.), who has interests and concerns of his own, over all the rest of the members of the directorate, who confirmed that the comments were never made," said Sadan.
The new directorate head is close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, while Channel 10 has long been highly critical of the Prime Minister.
His claims of not having made the remarks were given backing by the Director-General of the Communications Ministry on Tuesday night, who concluded after an investigation that the statements were never made.
Speaking to Walla on Wednesday, Sadan emphasized that he has no intentions of resigning from his new post, saying, "you don't resign over libel."
Shas boycott "likely for political considerations"
According to the Haaretz report, Sadan allegedly told Channel 10 directorate members in a closed meeting that "I, like you in the elite, hate the Shas movement and the thief Aryeh Deri."
"But we, as an elite, need to break through the barriers of the channel, to approach the Shas audience, 'Masuda from Sderot,'" he allegedly said, in a proverbial reference to Mizrahi Jews living in the periphery as opposed to Ashkenazi Jews in Tel Aviv.
Shas in response has launched a boycott of parliamentary activity, sparking a coalition crisis. Shas MKs have boycott Knesset committees and vowed to be absent from Knesset votes, hamstringing the government.
Coalition chairperson MK David Biton (Likud) met with Deri on Wednesday in an attempt to defuse the situation, although Shas appears to be remaining adamant and is to consult with its Council of Torah Sages later in the day to decide its course of action.
When asked if Deri's party went too far by boycotting in response to the alleged remarks, Sadan merely said, "ask Shas."
"I estimate that there are also political considerations (involved). I'm not a political man, and not a party member," he added.
Sadan clarified that there is no bad blood between him and the rest of the Channel 10 workers, saying, "we'll sit for a relaxed coffee, and we'll solve the matter."