IBA logo 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy of IBA)
The High Court of Justice on Thursday unanimously rejected a petition by the Tel
Aviv Journalists Association against the appointment of Yoni Ben-Menachem as the
director-general of the Israel Broadcasting Authority.
Ever since his
appointment was announced in July, and approved by the government in September,
objections against Ben-Menachem have been voiced by individual journalists as
well as by the journalists’ union.
Although Ben-Menachem is a veteran and
highly respected radio and television journalist, many of his colleagues believe
that he enjoys a special relationship with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and
that his appointment was politically motivated.
Some also claimed that
Ben-Menachem did not have the educational qualifications to serve as IBA
The court found no evidence that the appointments
committee was of a political nature or that the prime minister had intervened in
the appointments process.
The court took note of Ben-Menachem’s extensive
radio and television experience and the various positions that he has held at
the IBA and found him to be well qualified for the position of
Ben-Menachem said that he hoped that all the forces
both inside and outside the IBA who worked against him would re-channel their
energies and work for the benefit of the IBA and public broadcasting.
chairman Amir Gilat was also pleased with the verdict, saying that it vindicated
the integrity of the appointments committee.
In another development, IBA
spokeswoman Linda Bar issued a statement denying all rumors that Keren Neubach,
who anchors Reshet Bet radio’s Seder Yom (“Agenda”) morning program is to be
replaced by Channel 1’s political reporter and Friday night anchor Ayala
Neubach was removed from anchoring the Mabat Sheni (“Second
Look”) program on Channel 1, on the grounds that she is not telegenic. Although
this is a matter of opinion, one of Bar’s assistants was emphatic that Neubach
will not be dismissed from the IBA and that her position at Israel Radio is
secure. The IBA wants to introduce new faces to the small screen, he said, and
that was the main reason that Neubach was being replaced on Mabat
However, other people within the IBA have said that Neubach has
been too aggressive in attacking government inaction and injustice on social
welfare issues and that her position is now precarious.
adopted a softer tone in recent weeks, but she has not abandoned her principles.