Zvi Yehezkeli
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Zvi Yehezkeli
Zvi Yehezkeli
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Zvi Yechezkeli-2.jpg
Born (1970-08-17) 17 August 1970 (age 49)
Alma materHebrew University of Jerusalem
Children5
Career
Station(s)Israel 10
StyleDocumentary film
CountryIsrael

Zvi (Zvika) Yehezkeli (Hebrew: () ?‎, born August 17, 1970) is an Israeli television journalist and documentarian. He is an Arab affairs correspondent and head of the Arab desk at Israeli News 10, the news division of Israel 10.

Biography

Zvi Yehezkeli was born in Jerusalem to a secular family with Iraqi and Kurdish origins.[1] He has two younger sisters.[2] His father's family immigrated from Iraq when he was a year old and his mother was born en route from Kurdistan to Israel. In the Israel Defense Forces, Yehezkeli served in an elite infantry unit. After his discharge he worked for the Shin Bet,[2] and traveled abroad for six years working as a security guard at embassies.[3] He became interested in Islam while working in Europe and seeing Yitzhak Rabin shaking Yasser Arafat's hand during the Oslo I Accord ceremony on television.[2] When he returned to Israel at the age of 25, he attended the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, majoring in Media and Middle East History, and studying Arabic, becoming fluent in the language.[4] In 1997, he moved to Hebron, and then to Jenin, to achieve a better grasp of the Arab culture and language.[2] In the early 2000s, Yehezkeli was a popular television presenter, and "lived a bachelor's life at high speed". After the Second Lebanon War, he planned to go on a 5-week tour of India. On the way, Yehezkeli stopped in Uman to visit the grave of Nachman of Breslov, and spent Shabbat with a religious family, deciding after to become a baal teshuva (returnee to Judaism). He is married to Meital and is the father of five children.[5] They live in Gush Etzion.[2]

Media career

Yehezkeli joined Israel's Army Radio as the Gaza and West Bank reporter and occasionally contributed to the Israeli Channel 1's "Yoman" with various reports. During this time, he also completed his Master's majoring in Middle East History, as well as graduating in Media and Journalism at the Koteret school of journalism. In 2002, he joined News 10 as the head of Desk for Arab Affairs.

In 2010, he announced that President Mahmoud Abbas had a standing invitation to appear on Channel 10 to respond to allegations that several of his senior aides have embezzled international aid transferred to the Palestinian Authority.[6]

In September 2012, Allah Islam, a documentary series about the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's inroads in Europe that Yehezkeli created with David Deri, debuted on Channel 10.[7] In it, Yehezkeli stated that he went to Europe with an open mind to understand the worldview of the people he sought to interview.[4] In 2015, Assaf David, a co-founder of the Forum for Regional Thinking, an Israeli think tank, while acknowledging that Yehezkeli commanded a thorough understanding of the issues, nevertheless characterised his style as being "hysterical", which played upon people's fears by accentuating the views of the extremists. Yehezkeli responded that what he has portrayed is the reality, and critics are free to go to Europe and produce their own documentaries.[8]

At an international forum at Bar Ilan University in June 2013, Yehezkeli spoke about his interviews with Yasser Arafat: "In 2002 I sat with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, whose government compound was under siege in Ramallah. I asked him how he interprets Western rationale, and he replied that he is not a partner to this rationale." Yehezkeli said he also asked Arafat about Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's offer to accede to 99% of his demands. Arafat replied that Barak's offer was closer to 0% than to 100% because Barak refused to give in to all of his demands.[9]

For a few months during 2016 and 2017, Yehezkeli went undercover in Europe and the United States under a variety of Arab aliases to investigate the Muslim Brotherhood's presence there. The fruit of his exploits, the 5-part series BeZehut Beduya ( , Under a False Identity)[2] aired on Channel 10 in February 2018.[5] The series created some controversy, both in Israel and abroad, with online commenters speculating that the Mossad was involved in its production.[10]

Yehezkeli is regarded as one of Israel's leading Arabists.[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ Leibovitz, Liel (23 February 2018). "An Israeli Reporter, Undercover Among Europe's Muslim Immigrants". Tablet. Retrieved 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Swissa, Eran (4 October 2019). "In 10 Years, the Muslim Brotherhood Will Dictate the Tone". Israel Hayom. Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ Kupfer, Ruta (2006-07-25). "Nasrallah and Me". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 2018-06-11. Retrieved .
  4. ^ a b c Amir, Daniel (5 March 2018). "The Obsession With Exposing the 'Muslim Mindset'". 972 Magazine. Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ a b Spiro, Amy (5 February 2018). "False Identity: The Jewish-Israeli Reporter Who Went Undercover as a Sheikh". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ Channel 10 invites Abbas to address corruption allegations, Maan News Agency
  7. ^ Izikovich, Gili (12 September 2012). "Israeli Outsider Turns Camera on Europe's Muslim Outsiders". Haaretz. Retrieved 2020.
  8. ^ Glazer, Hilo (28 June 2015). "Israelis Telling the Middle East Like It Is". Haaretz. Retrieved 2020.
  9. ^ Bar-Ilan University Hosts Ninth Ambassadors' Forum
  10. ^ " ? : "? ?" [Zvika Yehezkeli Agitates the Arab Nations: 'He Was Sent By the Israeli Mossad']. Maariv on-line (in Hebrew). 5 February 2018. Retrieved 2020.

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