Liberman set to take Army Radio under his ministry’s authority
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Liberman set to take Army Radio under his ministry’s authority

AG needs to green-light organizational restructuring; initial attempt to move stations was shelved amid union opposition

The newsroom of Army Radio, which contains both conscripted soldiers and civilians who work on its programming (Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90)
The newsroom of Army Radio, which contains both conscripted soldiers and civilians who work on its programming (Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90)

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has approved a plan to move the Army Radio station from the Israel Defense Forces to his own ministry.

The organizational restructuring will see the popular radio station and its music-centered sister station Galgalatz become a unit of the Defense Ministry, instead of being subordinate to the army.

The plan first, proposed by Liberman early this year, will need to be approved by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

Army Radio, known in Hebrew as Galei Tzahal, has been on the chopping block for years as the army looks to streamline itself.

An initial attempt to move the radio station to the Defense Ministry in January was met with immediate resistance, notably from the Organization of IDF Workers, which promised to fight the station’s transfer because the decision had been made without consultation.

At the time, Liberman halted the move until further notice.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman leads the Yisrael Beytenu party faction meeting at the Knesset on October 30, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Army Radio began its broadcasts in 1950, taking over for the prestate Haganah’s broadcasts.

It has served as a breeding ground for some of the country’s most famed journalists, including Ilana Dayan, Yonit Levy, Nitzan Horowitz and others.

Given its dual role as a news broadcaster and a military unit, the radio station has regularly been criticized by lawmakers for appearing to take sides on political and cultural issues.

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