JERUSALEM: A prominent Israeli journalist known for breaking diplomatic scoops and critical coverage of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received notice on Sunday that he was being dismissed.
Barak Ravid, Channel 13 TV’s diplomatic correspondent, was among nearly 40 people who received dismissal letters from the station, Israeli media reported. Anchorwoman Tali Moreno, veteran weatherman Danny Roop and political correspondent Akiva Novick were among other big names being let go. But it was Ravid’s dismissal that raised eyebrows.
Ravid has gained a reputation for breaking stories about Israel’s relations with the US, the European Union and other foreign partners. His reporting has upset Netanyahu at times, and the prime minister has publicly rebuked Ravid in the past.
In recent months, Ravid has had exclusive interviews with White House adviser Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s top Mideast adviser, and the foreign minister of Bahrain, an Arab country that does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.
He also writes for the online news site “Axios”, and is known as a key source of information among Washington insiders and Mideast experts. A person familiar with the situation at Channel 13 said Ravid’s dismissal letter cited him for having poor “professional results”.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were discussing a personnel matter. Noa Landau, the diplomatic correspondent at the Haaretz daily and a friend of Ravid, said on Twitter that the dismissal has the “scent of a political assassination”.
In a statement to Haaretz, Channel 13 said it was dealing with a financial streamlining process that has forced it to “bid farewell to outstanding professionals”. It said that the process could be continued “within the organisation, not outside it”, due to privacy concerns.