In response to threats by Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi (Likud) to either close or substantially reduce the budget for public broadcasting, President Isaac Herzog has released a video endorsement of the network on his Twitter account.Karhi is known to be a staunch opponent of the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation. Even if he fails to eradicate it, reducing the budget to the extent that there be a sharp decline in what it has to offer will lead to a loss in ratings, which will then provide ample cause for closing down.The founding fathers of public broadcasting here, which came into being well before the establishment of the state, could not imagine the wealth of material that emanates from it today, said Herzog. When he himself watches KAN 11, the IPBC’s channel, he is amazed by the quality and variety of what he sees and hears in terms of drama, documentaries, culture, history and analysis.He is not the only one. “The public also likes this,” he commented.
Herzog notes important dates
Herzog noted that 2023 is a year of very significant anniversaries, not the least of which is the 75th anniversary of the founding of the state, the history of which he implied will receive vast coverage on KAN 11.On Wednesday of this week, Golan Yachpaz, IPBC director-general, presented the KAN 11 program line-up for 2023 at a festive ceremony at Mediatheque in Holon.While noting the achievements of hundreds of producers, directors and actors including among others Yehuda Levy, Keren Mor, Shalom Asayag, Elisha Banai, Liora Rivlin, Tom Avni and Dana Modan, Yachpaz warned that no one should be under the illusion that these accomplishments will overcome the threat of closure.“We must not confuse ourselves,” he said. “Despite our success, there is still a cloud hanging over us.”Nonetheless, mindful of what happened to its predecessor, the Israel Broadcasting Authority, the people engaged in public broadcasting together with their supporters from commercial broadcasting outlets will continue to fight with even more determination than they fought against the closure of the IBA.“We will fight with all our might,” pledged Yachpaz.Public broadcasting in Israel was introduced by the British Mandate in 1936.