Zionist Union MK Erel Margalit demanded on Monday the immediate appointment of a public broadcasting council to oversee the dissolution of the Israel Broadcasting Authority and the launch of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) that will take its place, at the first meeting of a special Knesset committee regarding the public broadcasting law.
Margalit lambasted the government at the meeting, headed by coalition chairman Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud).
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s non-attendance of the panel’s first meeting angered Margalit, who demanded that the new service be established immediately before Netanyahu, to whom he contemptuously referred as “the communications emperor,” could turn it into a political vehicle. Margalit also stressed the importance of winning the confidence of IBA employees and insisted that the new broadcasting service be headquartered in Jerusalem.
A delegation of the Jerusalem Journalists Association, largely made up of IBA journalists, met on Sunday with President Reuven Rivlin to explain the frustrations and anxiety which IBA employees are experiencing.
They are living in limbo, not knowing who will be absorbed into the PBS, which is supposed to have only 400 employees, while IBA has more than twice that number.
Conditions of the impending dismissals have not yet been publicized, and a number of employees have expressed willingness or have already taken early retirement to avoid stress.