According to a report on Thursday, the government has decided to hit pause on almost all the items that are on its reforms agenda, which includes the closing down of the Kan public broadcaster.
This is due to the fact that it is focusing on pushing forward its controversial judicial overhaul reforms that have received massive public opposition.
Reports said that earlier this week, the coalition heads had made a decision in a meeting to limit the number of public battles they are taking on.
This decision was taken in order to give full priority to the overhaul of the judicial system that it is planning on doing.
Shlomo Karhi, the Communications Minister, is planning on shutting down public broadcasting and this has also drawn a lot of protests and opposition.
This includes opposition from some of the most-loved public figures in the country. The decision also includes freezing Karhi’s plan of reducing the budget of the Kan broadcaster by hundreds of millions of shekels.
The report said that the freeze would remain in effect until further notice.
The Communications Minister
Last month, the Communications Minister had stated that there wasn’t any need for state-supported public broadcasting.
He declared his intention of shutting down all transmission regulating bodies as well as the Kan broadcaster.
According to Karhi, the aim of the Likud party is to allow a free market to exist in the industry, which would require removing regulation and obstacles.
He asserted that a public broadcaster did not have any place in this age and day because there is an extensive range of channels available.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party has been accused of trying to shut down Kan for a long time because the public broadcaster criticizes the government, even though it gets public funding.
There had been an extensive legislative battle for shutting down the Israel Broadcasting Authority, which had resulted in Kan being established in 2017.
Netanyahu had been the Prime Minister back then, who had previously been the communications minister, and he had opposed Kan’s creation.
He had stated that Kan was difficult to control and too left-wing. The coalition had almost collapsed in 2017 due to internal disagreements on the topic.
Now, plans of shutting down Kan have renewed once more and this has resulted in protests of hundreds of broadcast workers.
Likewise, 200 leading musicians have also submitted a petition and have vowed to participate in anti-government protests.
Last week, the letter from the musicians was published. It said that it was not surprising that the regime that wants to eliminate democracy is also trying to eliminate public broadcasts.
The protest of the musicians tied the move to shut down the public broadcaster to the judicial overhaul plans.
There have been protests in Israel by business leaders, leading economists, students, tech workers, lawyers and other bodies, all of whom are alarmed by the government’s plans.
There have also been international concerns because the overhaul could threaten the country’s economy and democracy.