Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Histadrut chairman Avi Nissenkorn.
(photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)
Histadrut labor federation chairman Avi Nissenkorn met with Channel 10 employees overnight on Monday, a day before the channel’s broadcast license was set to expire.
The station has received repeated warnings that unless it pays the NIS 36 million it owes the Second Authority for Television and Radio, its broadcasting license will not be renewed.
Its closure would put hundreds of people out of work, and has raised concerns over a diminished diversity of views being aired by the nation’s broadcast outlets.
Following the meeting, Nissenkorn called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who holds the Communications portfolio in the cabinet, to prevent the television channel’s closure.
“It’s unimaginable that 420 employees are being held hostage by regulation,” Nissenkorn said.
A Channel 10 delegation that asked for a meeting with President Reuven Rivlin received a prompt response and sat with him in his office on Tuesday morning to discuss what could be done to save the channel.
The president, a former communications minister, was one of the first public figures to speak out against the impending closure.
Rivlin listened intently to all the grievances and all the proposals put forward and promised that he would do his utmost to try to find a solution, even if it is an interim measure until some way can be found to ensure that Channel 10 remains permanently on the air.
MK Dov Henin of Hadash joined a chorus of politicians accusing Netanyahu of putting the channel through the hoops because it was critical of his policies.
“We cannot agree that everyone will be held in the hand of the prime minister and a small group of his associates.
There is no democracy without a free press,” Henin said.