Bulgarophobia Whipped up in Romanian Realitatea TV

Letters to the Editor | February 26, 2004, Thursday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0

Due to the controversial and sensitive nature of the topic Novinite.com are open to all other opinions on the issue, referred to in this letter.

Dear editor,

I watched the disparaging report about Bulgaria on an internet TVR broadcast and I have also been following, in the Romanian media on line, the dispute developing around this subject. And I would like to share with you my own information concerning the Bulgarophobia being whipped up in another Romanian television station under government control: Realitatea TV. I was the Israel correspondent of Realitatea TV in the April 2002-July 2003 period when I was forced to cease my journalist activity due to anti-Semitic harassment on the part of certain staff members.

The same staff members of Realitatea TV who systematically sabotaged my correspondences and forced me to quit were also responsible for preventing the broadcasting of an interview with Bulgarian FM, Mr. Solomon Passy, in early June 2003. Mr.Passy had just met Israeli President, Moshe Katsav, at his Jerusalem residence, and agreed to make a few statements about the future Bulgarian-Romanian cooperation within NATO, taking this opportunity to convey a message to his Romanian counterpart, Mircea Geoana.

I was adamantly refused to broadcast the interview in any form: a telephone news frash, a live broadcast or video footage.

About two weeks later, when I interviewed in Jerusalem the visiting Hungarian FM, Mr.Laszlo Kovacs and EU enlargement commissioner, Gunther Verheugen, my interviews were broadcast within an hour of being received.

I have been living in Israel for 25 years and have Bulgarian friends here whom I respect and there is no dispute between us about the dates Bulgaria and Romania are scheduled to join the EU or which country has a better record. And this is not the first time Romanian president, Ion Iliescu, is trying to divert public attention in Romania from the failure of his policy. Last year he caused unnecessary diplomatic tensions between Romania and Israel by publicly denying the Holocaust and unleashing a wave of anti-Semitism, which took its toll on me too. And this year it's Bulgaria. Poor Mr.Passy! In addition to his Jewish origin, he is also guilty, in the eyes of Iliescu and his ruling party, of being the Foreign Minister of Bulgaria. In his final days, Iliescu's predecessor, Nicolae Ceausescu, had threatened to occupy Soviet Moldavia and closed the Hungarian consulate in Cluj, Transylvania further straining bilateral relations. However, those who do not have short memories know full well how it all ended.


Sergiu Klein

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