• Home
  • Bdm News
  • Israel's 'Fascist' Culture Minister Is but a Mouthpiece for Netanyahu

BDM Weekly

Israel's 'Fascist' Culture Minister Is but a Mouthpiece for Netanyahu

Netanyahu hasn't given up on his goal to wrest control over the new public broadcast corporation. The latest opposition to it has his fingerprints all over.

Less than a week has passed since Benjamin Netanyahu reached some sort of common ground with his finance minister, thereby ostensibly ending the furor surrounding the new public broadcast corporation. On Sunday, however, it turned out that with the prime minister, a “compromise” merely means that he’s going to continue to wage his battle by other means. His goal remains uncompromised: to threaten, sabotage, oppress and, unfortunately, to control the new corporation, which already seems doomed.
Last week Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon agreed that the new entity, the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation, would begin operation by April 1, 2017 at the latest, at which time it would replace the veteran Israel Broadcast Authority.
No sooner had the Sabbath ended did we learn of a new legislative drive by the coalition chairman, Likud Knesset Member David Bitan. Bitan proposes to cancel the plan for a new broadcast corporation and return to the good old IBA. At the same time, Jerusalem Affairs Minister Zeev Elkin said he would sponsor a law stipulating that the broadcast corporation would operate only out of the capital of Israel (Jerusalem). An appropriate Zionist message for the broadcast companies of our enemies.
Netanyahu’s fingerprints on all this are screamingly easy to see.
He knows a thing or two about psychological warfare. His coalition partners thwarted his plan to drag out the inauguration of the corporation’s operations until Eldad Koblenz – the man appointed in early 2015 to establish and lead the company that will replace the IBA, and its acting CEO – and Gil Omer, its chairman, quit in despair. (The new company has been established, but isn’t broadcasting yet). So Netanyahu sat back for a bit, regrouped – and sicced Bitan and Elkin on the pair.
Even if the legislative proposals don’t stand a chance, the message to Koblenz and Omer is clear: They are marked. They are in the crosshairs. The prime minister will not rest until he gets what he wants. He himself said once that anything he wants, he gets.
The lowest point in the saga of Bibi and the broadcast corporation (though further descent is certainly possible) happened at Sunday's cabinet session. The very walls must have blushed in shame upon hearing the discussion over the hypothetical political affiliation of young journalists recruited to work at the new corporation, involving the counting of heads like at a fish market of Likudniks versus Mafdalniks, and knitted skullcaps versus black ones. Or when Culture Minister Miri Regev shouted, “What, we give them money and they broadcast whatever they want? It is inconceivable that we establish a corporation that we won't control. What's the point?”
Not even the keenest of satirical critics would have had a character playing a culture minister who says such inane, contemptible things, amplifying her stereotype – which Regev claims is entirely an artifact of bigotry because she is a Mizrahi (Sephardi) woman.
By the way, for the last 15 months, the person sitting next to her at the cabinet table is another Mizrahi woman, the minister for social equality, Gila Gamliel, who demonstrates professionalism, statesmanlike behavior, equality. She has never had the same stereotypes as Regev attached to her.
Bitan, with his bill, and Regev, with her fomenting – that’s how Netanyahu operates. They are channeling him, echoing him. They are his subtext, his alter egos.
Lest there be doubt: When Bitan commented, at a meeting of the Economic Affairs Committee last week, that the Israeli press is “too free,” he was accurately reflecting the mood of his boss. When Regev suggested on Sunday that Koblenz be barred from becoming the permanent CEO, she was reflecting, exactly, what Netanyahu was telling his ministers in private conversations.
Only two Likud ministers represented a semblance of normalcy at the cabinet meeting. One was Gilad Erdan, whose idea it had been to reform public broadcasting in Israel in the first place (when serving as communications minister). He unleashed a series of sarcastic broadsides that punctured Regev’s hollow rhetoric. The other was Gila Gamliel. Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked represented the right-wing position, and Moshe Kahlon, guard-dog of democracy, was mum.

Yossi Verter

Haaretz Contributor

read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.734600

Schermata 2416 08 02 alle 23.24.11

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • During book launch in West Bank for book of essays marking 50 years of occupation, U.S. Jewish literary couple talk about that uncomfortable subject Where do they get the chutzpah to lecture Israelis on the evils of occupation? Since the
    Read More
  • El Al forced to change its policy and pay damages to Renee Rabinowitz, the 83-year-old Holocaust survivor who filed the suit A new court ruling explicitly forbids flight attendants for Israeli airlines from asking women to switch seats to accommodate
    Read More
  • Opponents of the new settlement claim it will create an enclave of Palestinian owned land that will be unreachable to its owners The head of a Palestinian village and an Israeli human-rights group appealed on Wednesday in the High Court
    Read More
  • A UN report has shown that more than 65 million people were forced to leave their home countries last year, becoming refugees due to deadly conflict. The top nations from which refugees fled have one thing in common, they were
    Read More
  • Last December, Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett appointed Tel Aviv university philosophy professor Asa Kasher, to author an ‘ethical code’, to define rules in the area of “overlap between academic and political activity”. Last month, Kasher submitted the document to
    Read More
  • East Jerusalem is occupied by Israel. It is also illegally annexed. It is also illegally separated from the rest of the West Bank by an illegal wall. In Jerusalem, Israel boasts of 220,000 illegal Jewish settlers settled on land confiscated from 300,000 Palestinian residents who are
    Read More
load more hold SHIFT key to load all load all

Video of the Week Interview with Miko Peled is an Israeli-American activist


Video: Miko Peled is an Israeli-American activist who dedicates his life in support of human rights and a desirable and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine. Son of a former Israeli general, author of the book "The General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine," Miko has the courage to publicly denounce what others prefer to deny, and several times arrested during his demonstrations alongside the Palestinian people, He has no doubt about the solution to the Middle East question.#SAVEPALESTINE

Boycott Israeli diamond