Ban on PM Dealing With Media Companies Stands

YERUSHALAYIM -
netanyahu
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the opening of a Honduran Trade Office in Yerushalayim, Sunday. (Marc Israel Sellem/Pool)

 

A day after a recording surfaced with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s voice heard meddling in Communications Ministry affairs, the Justice Ministry clarified that he is legally barred from doing so.

PM Netanyahu was forced to resign as head of the ministry in 2017, when the conversation was recorded, due to a corruption investigation into his dealings with media companies. The ban is narrowly constructed, however.

“Even after his resignation as communications minister, it was clarified that owing to his position as prime minister, Netanyahu is permitted to deal with issues pertaining to various government ministries, including the Communications Ministry, and the fact that he no longer serves as communications minister does not rule out his involvements in the field of communications in his role as prime minister,” the Justice Ministry statement said.

In the recording, Netanyahu can be heard demanding that then-communications minister Ayoub Kara close down the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council, which oversees cable and satellite stations in Israel, after it blocked a licensing request from Channel 20.