Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a special Knesset address, October 13, 2015.
(photo credit: KOBI GIDON / GPO)
Five members of the Knesset lobby for Jerusalem sent a joint appeal to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also functions as Communications Minister, to prevent the new public broadcasting entity that is scheduled to replace the IBA in October from becoming operational outside the capital.
The appeal to ensure that the new entity will be headquartered in Jerusalem was initiated by Zionist Union MK Nachman Shai, a former chairman of the soon-to-be-obsolete Israel Broadcasting Authority.
The signatories – Shai, Erel Margalit, Mickey Levy, Hilik Bar and Moti Yogev – take a grave view of any attempt to locate the new public broadcasting service outside Jerusalem, even temporarily, no matter for how brief a period.
The letter reminds Netanyahu that establishing the new entity outside the capital violates the law, which specifies that its premises must be in Jerusalem.
The letter is in protest at a decision by the deputy attorney general to allow the new service to begin broadcasting from a location outside Jerusalem for the first few months of its existence.
Mindful that in Israel anything that is declared to be temporary quickly becomes permanent, the signatories seek to prevent such a measure before it can take place.
Anything the government may say about the centrality of Jerusalem loses all meaning if even one workplace designated for Jerusalem is filled outside the city, states the letter, adding how much worse this will be if the city loses thousands of places of work as a result.
The leaders of the lobby for Jerusalem say that they will remain vigilant and will continue with a vigorous campaign both inside and outside the Knesset to guarantee adherence to both the letter and the spirit of the public broadcasting law.