Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the featured guest on Channel 14’s debut broadcast.
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
A new channel debuted on Israeli TV Monday evening, marking the first time that a station with an unabashedly right-wing perspective hit the airwaves in the Jewish State.
“We are not embarrassed about our views,” said a spokesperson from the new station, Channel 14, in a statement.
“We will not hide that we have an agenda and an ideology and show hosts who would not be allowed to broadcast elsewhere. We love Israel, and we appeal to viewers who love Israel.”
Former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the featured guest on Channel 14’s debut broadcast, and tweeted on Monday encouraging his supporters to tune into the program.
Named for its station, Channel 14’s programming consists mainly of news coverage, especially regarding politics and current events, and has been dubbed “the Israeli Fox News” by a number of Hebrew language commentators.
Channel 14’s previous incarnation was as Channel 20, a so-called “community” channel with a small budget featuring commentators and journalists who overwhelmingly support Benjamin Netanyahu and the Likud party.
The move to Channel 14 comes along with an upgraded, state-of-the-art studio in Modiin and noticeably higher production value, courtesy of millions invested by Georgian-Israeli business magnate Michael Mirilashvili’s son.
Many of the right-wing TV personalities made famous on Channel 20, including Shimon Riklis, Lital Shemesh, and Yinon Magal, have migrated along with the network to Channel 14.
With the majority of Israelis holding right-wing political views, some have complained that mainstream Israeli news channels 11, 12, and 13 promote a left-wing spin on current events that is out of touch with the values and perspective of most Israelis.
In a review of Channel 14’s broadcasting debut, Walla News editor in chief Eran Tiefenbrunn wrote that the station “speaks a language that most of the Jewish public speaks.”
On Channel 12 and Channel 13, Tiefenbrunn explained, the “illegitimate prime minister” was Netanyahu; on Channel 14, that dubious distinction belongs to current prime minister Naftali Bennett.