After twenty-four hours of political sparring, the heads of the coalition parties agreed this afternoon that new Israel Broadcasting Corporation (branded as "Kan") will start to operate at the end of April as currently provided for by law, and in exchange the Media Regulation Bill will be passed, subject to changes to be agreed upon.
It is still not clear which Knesset committee will discuss the bill, the aim of which is to bring all broadcasters, whether public or commercial, under the aegis of a single regulating board that in practice will be controlled by government politicians.
This arrangement enables Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon to claim an achievement, in that he has brought about the launch of the Broadcasting Corporation as planned, even though the new bill on broadcasting regulation is liable to turn out to be a much more severe blow to freedom of the media than aborting the corporation, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought, would have been.
Until early this afternoon it was still thought in political circles that Netanyahu was creating an intentional crisis, after supposedly having decided in principle to consider an early election to pre-empt the expected indictment in the various corruption affairs concerning which he is being investigated. The view was that Netanyahu would justify calling an election on the grounds of a "governance problem", as he did when he brought forward the last election in 2014.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 16, 2017
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017