Netanyahu and Kahlon reach compromise; no early elections

Netanyahu reached an agreement on Thursday with his finance minister over public broadcasting, successfully preventing the coalition from disbanding. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu successfully reached a compromise with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon over the future of Israel’s new public broadcasting cooperation, effectively preventing new elections.

“This deal is good for the Likud, good for the media and mainly good for the people of Israel,” said the chairman of Netanyahu’s coalition, Likud Member of Knesset (MK) David Bitan.

“It is a deal that both sides could live with,” Bitan added. “It will prevent elections and guarantee the continuation of a good coalition for our country.”

According to the deal, the new public broadcasting corporation that was set to begin on April 30 will be launched several weeks later, on May 15. While the new corporation will move ahead despite Netanyahu’s prior and sudden objection several weeks ago, the prime minister’s office said that the employees of the currently existing Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) will be transitioned to operate in a separate department in charge of the news.

“The news division of the public broadcasting, which is funded by the taxpayers, will be formed mainly from IBA workers,” Bitan said.

Netanyahu agreed to withdraw a proposal to increase supervision over public broadcasting.

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The last hurdle that was overcome was Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit’s approval of the new agreement concerning legality.

MK Nachman Shai, a member of the Opposition’s Zionist Union faction and former IBA head, slammed the deal.

“There is no public broadcasting such as this in any other place in the world,” Shai argued. They have destroyed the IBA and built nothing. Everybody lost and, above all, the Israeli public.”

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News