August 18, 2017
Mr. Avi Weiss
Director, Israel Channel Two News
Dear Mr. Weiss,
We are writing you with regard to an interview conducted on August 16th by Dany Cushmaro with Richard Spencer during your main news cast.
We are troubled by the interview’s lack of context explaining what Mr. Spencer stands for and his role in promoting anti-Semitism and blunt White Supremacy, as well as Mr. Cushmaro’s failure to counter the numerous falsehoods and hateful comments made by Mr. Spencer throughout the interview.
Richard Spencer is a leading white supremacist ideologue who has become the face of the alt right, a loose network of people who promote white identity and embrace implicit or explicit racism, anti-Semitism and white supremacy. He has also advocated for a white ethno-state where white people would live separately from minorities, including Jews. He has convened conferences with well-known anti-Semites, and was a leading promoter of the Charlottesville white supremacist rally, where open hatred was on display.
Throughout the interview, Mr. Spencer made numerous offensive comments which went unchallenged by Mr. Cushmaro. These included Mr. Spencer analogizing his racist ideas with Zionism and referring to himself as a “white Zionist”, and statements about Jews being “overrepresented” in various areas of civil society. At no point did Mr. Cushmaro challenge these hateful comments or attempt to counter Mr. Spencer’s racist agenda.
To be clear, we recognize the news value in interviewing Mr. Spencer during these turbulent times and respect your editorial choice to do so. Yet it is equally important to challenge Mr. Spencer’s false and hateful comments and provide viewers with the proper context regarding his central role in leading White Supremacist and anti-Semitic discourse in the U.S. today. This, regrettably, was not the case in yesterday’s interview.
Director of ADL's Israel Office