IDF, Defense Ministry agree to shut down Army Radio

The rationale for the decision, according to former Communication Minister MK Yoaz Hendel, is to create more competition in the communications market.

Radio broadcasters seen in the offices of Galei Tzahal, the national IDF radio station, in Jaffa, on March 27, 2014. (photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
Radio broadcasters seen in the offices of Galei Tzahal, the national IDF radio station, in Jaffa, on March 27, 2014.
(photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Defense Ministry came to an agreement on Thursday that Army Radio should be shut down, following a period of deliberation on the future of the military radio station.
A senior military official told The Jerusalem Post's sister publication Maariv that the decision to close Army Radio was made a long time ago, despite conversations held on privatizing or professionalizing the radio station.
"There is nothing to brag about; it is clear to everyone that choosing to remove Army Radio from the IDF is the best option. It is not viable to move it elsewhere or to privatize it, and such a choice is a waste of time and a decision-making escape."  
But a veteran employee from Army Radio spoke to Maariv about the future of the radio station, saying that shutting it is the wrong move, while also suggesting that the station becomes professionalized.
"Army Radio can do a good press if it was run by professionals," the employee said. "But Defense Minister Benny Gantz and the director-general of his office, Amir Eshel, along with the IDF are doing easy work for themselves. These are the senior officers who send soldiers into life-threatening situations every day, yet hesitate to solve a political problem that is impossible. The national interest obliges them to take responsibility and establish order in the unit, and not to overtake it with a bulldozer."  
                                                                                         
The rationale for the decision, according to former Communication Minister MK Yoaz Hendel, is to create more competition in the communications market among the commercial stations, since Army Radio is a free service that does not pay fees on licensing or air wave use.