The Israel Broadcasting Corporation will at long last be launched on April 30, 2017 – if the government abides by what it told the High Court of Justice on Monday.
After the Knesset legislated in 2014 for the demise of the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) and the establishment of a more streamlined and cost efficient Israel Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) in its place, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced after several launch dates for the IBC had come and gone that he wanted to kill off the IBC and rehabilitate the IBA.
Netanyahu’s move raised the hackles of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, as well as Zionist Union MK Eitan Cabel, who chairs the Knesset Economics Committee and who in a sense crossed the floor when he supported former Communications Minister Likud MK Gilad Erdan, who put the wheels in motion for the closure of the IBA.
Most recently Netanyahu, who also holds the Communications portfolio, reached an agreement with Kahlon whereby they would set up a joint committee to figure out whether it was more economical to kill off the IBA and finally launch the IBC, or to abort the IBC and rehabilitate the IBA.
Meanwhile, others who objected to the seesawing between the two public broadcasting services took the matter to court, thereby forcing the government to make a decision one way or the other.
As things stand now, the public broadcasting law will be amended, and even though the IBC claims that it will be ready to go to air on January, it is now scheduled to go to air in April.