Originally a supporter of the closure of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has become perhaps not a supporter of keeping it open, but of not replacing it with the new “Kan” broadcasting organization. As of April 30th, Kan will begin broadcasting national and regional media outlets; and the old IBA will be out of business.
Netanyahu had his differences with the IBA, often accusing reporters of having a leftist bent. But Kan, it turns out, may be even worse, the prime minister wrote in a social media post. “How will Kan’s reporting look when we see that a Kan reporter praised a terrorist? You would expect such a reporter to be fired, but she was just temporarily suspended. This is a leftist organization, and they are employing supporters of terrorism,” Netanyahu wrote.
On Tuesday, Kan announced that it was suspending reporter Samah Watad, who is to host a political talk show, for referring to a terrorist eliminated by the IDF as an “intellectual.” She was informed of the gravity of her actions, the broadcasting group said, and she in turn apologized and said that she was not a supporter of terrorism.
Meanwhile, tensions have been rising at the IBA as workers take last-chance options to try and save their jobs. According to the agreement with workers, most of the IBA staff is supposed to be transferred to Kan, but the organization has said that it doesn’t need all the workers — with over 200 at risk of being fired. IBA workers have been holding protests, and the Histadrut has threatened strikes and work actions if all the workers are not guaranteed jobs.