Cabinet approves bill stripping new public broadcaster of news division
Legislation will be brought before the Knesset for first reading on Thursday; opposition plans to boycott vote
Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief
The cabinet approved on Wednesday legislation that will restructure the new public broadcasting corporation, further implementing a March compromise reached by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.
The deal reached by Netanyahu and Kahlon stripped the new broadcaster, formally called “Kan” and widely known as HaTa’agid (the corporation), of its news division and created a separate news entity in its stead, largely made up of staffers from the old Israel Broadcasting Authority.
The cabinet also authorized the Ministerial Committee on Legislation to approve the bill at a meeting that was being held later Wednesday evening, in order to prevent the possibility of the opposition filing an appeal.
At a special Thursday session on the final weekday of the Passover recess, the Knesset will vote on the first reading of the bill, which is expected to be approved in a final reading next week.
Furious with the coalition’s choice to call a special recess session to vote on the legislation, the opposition announced that it will be boycotting the vote.
During a separate recess-interrupting session last Wednesday, lawmakers approved a two-week delay in launching the new public broadcaster, which was set to go on air on April 30.
The delay pushed off the broadcaster’s launch date to May 15, and Netanyahu’s government has since been rushing to have the relevant legislation passed in time.