Controversial journalist Branko Trickovski, who is an outspoken supporter of the ruling SDSM party, was unrepentant after his latest hate speech incident caused widespread public outrage.
On Thursday, Trickovski posted a morbid “joke” about Labour and Welfare Minister Rasela Mizrahi – the first Jewish person to be appointed to the Macedonian Government, saying that she “eats hummus made of dead Jews”. It’s the latest in Trickovski’s long list of comments, in which he would describe in detail how he would like to see political opponents of SDSM killed and tortured, often to applause from his supporters. After his latest comment, aimed at a person who lost most of her family in the Holocaust, was roundly condemned, Trickovski responded with an equally bizarre comment comparing his critics to piranhas and referencing the coronavirus before telling them to get out of his social media “wall”.
SDSM has crossed all lines. VMRO-DPMNE strongly condemns the hate speech and anti-Semitism practiced by structures close to the government, such as Trickoski’s latest attack on Rasela Mizrahi, the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, which nominated Mizrahi to her position, said in response to the latest attack against her.
The comment was also strongly condemned by the Macedonian Association of Journalists, which noted that his many threats against politicians, journalists, businessmen.. are ignored by Public Prosecutor Ljubomir Joveski. “We call on the Interior Ministry to launch an investigation, and we call on the Sloboden Pecat newspaper to publicly denounce the comments of its journalist and stop publishing Trickovski”.
As a former journalist with the Utrinski Vesnik, Trickovski was regarded as a prominent member of the left leaning journalist circle, and has frequently disguised his hateful rants as art. He has been a strong supporter of SDSM’s campaign of persecution against the opposition, carried out through the Special Prosecutor’s Office, whose members would frequent Trickovski’s public events. His recently published collection of editorials was promoted by SDSM presidential candidate Ljubomir Frckoski, Zlatko Teodosievski who was the culture adviser to Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Besa Arifi – adviser to President Stevo Pendarovski.
In a supreme act of irony, mid last year the court actually sentenced a VMRO activist, actor Toni Mihajlovski, for responding to one of Trickovski’s direct threats in an equal measure. Mihajlovski was sentenced to a suspended prison sentence. The prosecutors and the court, meanwhile, would not touch Trickovski for his own numerous threats, leaving the sense that he can threaten opposition officials and activists with impunity, and will even enjoy the protection of the judiciary.
Trickovski’s latest comment points to the growing problem of anti-Semitism on the left, which was evident almost as soon as Mizrahi was appointed to the department, and replaced the darling of the far left Mila Carovska. A Muslim spokeswoman for the Ministry who was hired by Carovska said that Mizrahi should wear the star of David and other outspoken SDSM activists, who like Trickovski were prominent in the 2015 Colored Revolution, used equally ugly comments against the new minister.