President Reuven Rivlin .
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The remaining staff at the Israel Broadcasting Authority were heartened to hear President Reuven Rivlin declare on Jerusalem Day that the new Israel Broadcasting Corporation – due to go on the air October 1 – must be headquartered in Jerusalem.
Speaking at the Jerusalem Day ceremony at Ammunition Hill on Sunday evening, Rivlin said he was happy to hear that the prime minister had ordered a halt to the process of moving the public broadcasting service out of the capital, and was hopeful that this would continue to be the case.
It defied imagination, Rivlin said, that on the 80th anniversary of the first Hebrew broadcast from Jerusalem under the call sign of The Voice of Jerusalem, that public broadcasting would no longer be relayed from Jerusalem.
Those charged with establishing the new Israel Broadcasting Corporation claimed they could not find suitable premises in Jerusalem. The so-called temporary solution was to utilize the Channel Nine studios in Modi’in, but this elicited an angry protest not only from IBA staff, but also from Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and from members of the Knesset’s Jerusalem lobby.
Rivlin said it had pained him to hear that the Voice of Israel, as Israel Radio is known in Hebrew, is moving from Jerusalem.
“This is the voice of Zionism, the voice of hope, the voice of two thousand years of yearning,” Rivlin said, adding that the Voice of Israel is one of the symbols of Jewish sovereignty and independence in the Land of Israel, and that there is no compromise on national symbols.
“We cannot cede our symbols,” he said. “We must not empty Jerusalem of its symbols.”