Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens to Zeev Elkin during a committee meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem in June..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The management of the new Israeli Broadcasting Corporation will need to be changed in the event that it is not shut down, Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin said on Wednesday.
His comments come against the background of the coalition crisis over the IBC, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to shut down, a step that Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon opposes on budgetary grounds.
“This law [creating the IBC] was a mistake from the beginning, so it either needs to be abolished or the way it is managed needs to be changed,” Elkin said in an interview with the Israel Broadcasting Authority, which the IBC is supposed to replace on April 30.
“It [the IBC] has a budget of NIS 700 million of public money, and it is run without oversight; it runs itself,” he said.
Elkin said he believes the appointment of journalist Geula Even-Sa’ar as presenter of the IBC’s main news broadcast was an “appropriate” choice, but that the timing of the announcement on Monday was designed “to pour flames on the fire.”
Even-Sa’ar is married to Likud darling and former minister and MK Gideon Sa’ar, who is a possible rival to Netanyahu for the Likud leadership.
Netanyahu has threatened to dissolve the government and call for an election if the IBC is not shuttered, but Elkin said he does not think an early election would be a positive step “for the Likud or any other coalition party.”
Indeed, a poll conducted by the research institute Maagar Mochot for Radio station 103FM and published Wednesday put Yesh Atid at 26 Knesset seats, up by more than double from its current tally of 11, and the Likud down to 24 seats from its current 30 mandates.
According to the poll, Zionist Union would collapse to just 11 seats from its total of 24 in the current Knesset, Bayit Yehudi would rise to 13 seats, the Joint List would remain on 13, Kulanu would fall to six, Shas would remain at seven, Yisrael Beytenu would rise from six to seven seats, and Meretz would drop one seat to four mandates, just above the electoral threshold.
A party led by former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon would get enough votes for only three seats, leaving him outside of the Knesset, below the electoral threshold.
Earlier on Wednesday, Construction Minister Yoav Gallant of Kulanu said he does not believe that the coalition crisis would lead to an early election.
“I think this storm will be forgotten, since Benjamin Netanyahu and Moshe Kahlon are serious people who well understand that what is happening in Syria, Gaza, and regarding the economic issues is more important than this issue, and they will find a way to reach a compromise,” Gallant said on Army Radio.