Peres: Fight for Channel 10 is fight for democracy

December 21, 2011 14:25

"Democracy is expensive, but the closure of the channel will be social and economic bankruptcy," president says.

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President Shimon Peres

President Shimon Peres_311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

President Shimon Peres said Wednesday that he sees the struggle for the future of Channel 10, which is in danger of closing, as a struggle for the democratic character of Israel.

Peres met with Channel 10 representatives following concerns after the economic committee did not approve the postponement of debts to the state.

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During the meeting the president said: "Democracy is expensive, but the closure of the channel will be social  and economic's not just the livelihood of 1,000 people that it will hurt, it will weaken the entire media."

Channel 10's executive director Yossi Varshabsky, director of news Uri Rozen, and journalist Moti Kirshenbaum attended the meeting.

Peres said he was concerned that if domestic media is harmed, youth will turn to foreign outlets as an alternative.

"They all go the Internet, read foreign newspapers, and do not know what's happening in the country," he explained.

"None of us, certainly not I, can remain neutral in the face of such a struggle. Democracy rests on two wings - government action and the critical action of the free press. It's not possible to separate the two and remain democratic. A bird cannot fly with one wing," Peres stated.

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