Scores of children of employees of the soon to be closed Israel Broadcasting Authority joined their parents on Monday evening in a demonstration adjacent to the Prime Minister’s Residence.
Demonstrators were not permitted to come close to the house, and more than twenty police and Border Patrol personnel were on hand to prevent any outbreak of violence, making an approach an approach the residence almost impossible
Regular pedestrians walking along Balfour Road or Smolenskin Street, the two streets that border the Prime Minister’s residence were turned back by the border patrol. In most cases, those who tried to enter Balfour Road were unable to gain access at the Brenner and Aza intersections which have been enclosed by heavy metal fences with gates that are locked at night and sometimes during the day.
The demonstrators were also penned into an enclosure that ran the length of Terra Sancta, one side of which faces the Prime Minister’s residence and the other which is in Ben Maimon street that runs parallel to Smolenskin Street.
Children carried placards with signs such as “Bibi wake up. They want to fire my parents!” or “Bibi, my mother and my father work for the IBA. What’s going to happen to us kids?”
One placard featured a word play on the the name of Finance Minister Yair Lapid whose surname means torch in Hebrew. The signs read “For as long as the torch burns, we have no future”.
Lapid partnered with Communications Minister Gilad Erdan in issuing a doomsday edict for the IBA, which is slated to close in March, 2015.
Parents also carried placards, one of which noted that while they were soon going to join the ranks of the unemployed, Erdan and Ram Landes who recommended the closure of the IBA are living in upscale areas namely Savyon and Rishpon.
Several IBA employees warned that if the IBA is silenced, it won’t be long before Channels 2 and 10 face the same fate. In fact Channel 10 is already living on borrowed time and may have to shut shop at the end of the year.
One placard addressed to Channel 10 employees read “Soon you will be standing on this corner”.
The IBA people were very disappointed in the lack of solidarity by colleagues working for the two commercial channels.
Speakers appealed to both Prime Minister Netanyahu and to Erdan not to put them in a situation which would drive their children below the poverty line.
Some placards read: “I have no other form of livelihood.”