(photo credit: REUVEN CASTRO)
KAN, the television channel of the yet-to-be launched Israel Broadcasting Corporation, has broken a couple of news scoops lately, but the stories have only been seen by those who follow its progress online.
It was KAN that broke the story on Monday night about inexperienced students of circumcision practicing their hoped-for profession on babies from the Ethiopian and foreign worker community.
Then, on Thursday, KAN published the Netanyahu family connection to investments in China. It appears that the prime minister’s lawyer David Shimron – who is also his cousin – was also the lawyer for Netanyahu’s son-in-law, Daniel Roth, who in 2014 founded the China Israel Exchange (CIE), a company that promotes business interests between Israel and China.
Roth is married to Noa, the daughter from Netanyahu’s first marriage to Miki Haran.
According to background material supplied by KAN, the CIE – which deals with agriculture, municipal projects, consultancy and cultural exchange – is co-sponsored by the China Israel Economic Task Force in the Prime Minister’s Office.
KAN reported that the American- born and educated Roth has received Shimron’s help in opening many doors for him in China. Although there may be nothing illegal in the Prime Minister’s Office and the prime minister’s son-in-law promoting Israel-China relations with the assistance of Shimron, it adds fodder to recent conflict of interest presumptions about Netanyahu and his lawyer.
Netanyahu, in his capacity as communications minister, has proposed that the IBC be aborted and that the Israel Broadcasting Authority, currently in liquidation, be rehabilitated.
Many of the opponents to this proposal believe that Netanyahu wants to control the IBA, and have demanded that plans for the launch of the IBC be continued. They also insist that the IBC should be an independent media enterprise without any political pressure or interference.
The China revelation may be interpreted as the IBC’s defiance to the threat it faces.
A decision about its future is to be made shortly by a joint committee set up by Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.
Meanwhile the KAN council has unanimously approved a budget of NIS 695 million for 2017 that – among other things – includes the cost of acquisitions, content, production, salaries, distribution, marketing, computerization and screening, plus a reserve for unexpected expenses.
On Wednesday, Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Minister of Information Gilad Erdan, who in his previous role as communications minister was responsible for the public broadcasting revolution, tweeted a congratulatory message to Maariv columnist, Kalman Libeskind, who has been taken on as a broadcaster by IBC.
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