Mandelblit brought in to fix IBA impass

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, and their closest advisers met at least twice Wednesday.

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March 29, 2017 23:24
1 minute read.
Avichai Mandelblit

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit in his first appearance at the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee since assuming the country’s top legal position in February. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

 
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Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit stepped in on Wednesday to efforts to end the current political crisis over public broadcasting and avoid a general election.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, and their closest advisers met at least twice Wednesday following a meeting Tuesday night that ended in a stalemate and a Likud threat to initiate an election.

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Mandelblit and his deputies were called in to help bridge the gap between what is seen as permissible legally and what is possible politically and determine what legislation must be passed in the Knesset as part of the solution to the dispute.

The most likely scenario at press time involved drafting much of the Israel Broadcasting Authority into Kan, the new Israel Broadcasting Corporation, merging their news operations, and firing the heads of the corporation.

“I believe the solution that can redeem us will eventually be found,” coalition chairman David Bitan said. “This has become a battle to maintain Kahlon’s honor.

We aren’t interested in elections, but we’re fighting for the impact of the Likud in the coalition, and that is why we can’t concede.”

Sources close to Kahlon said he was still worried that Netanyahu was looking for an excuse to initiate an election and that if the deadline for the corporation to go on the air, the prime minister could cancel its formation behind his back.

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