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Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon
Photo: Motti Kimchi
Kahlon responds in IPBC crisis
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon promises to take care of the employees of the Broadcasting Authority, while not addressing the question of whether he would succumb to Netanyahu's threats to hold elections should the corporation be established. Thus far, only six MKs have expressed public support for the PM.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon responded on Sunday to the ognoing crisis with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surrounding the establishment of the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC).

 

 

Kahlon refrained from addressing the question of whether he would insist on the corporation's establishment or cave to the prime minister's threat to hold elections should the corporation be established.

 

Moshe Kahlon (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Moshe Kahlon (Photo: Motti Kimchi)

 

Kahlon noted that the IPBC was established as a result of the decisions of the previous government.

 

"I do not want to embarrass anyone by quoting the members of government on what they said about the corporation," said Kahlon.

 

"The previous government did a number on them and they dumped it on me—that's easy. Right now, there are problems and unfortunately, some IBA employees fell through the cracks. I don't need lessons in compassion from anybody," Kahlon added. 

 

Kahlon then pledged he would stand by the IBA employees, taking responsibility where responsibility is due.

 

Netanyahu's current coalition includes 67 out of parliament's 120 members. Kahlon's Kulanu has 10 seats, so the current coalition would not survive without him.

 

But even if the coalition collapses it does not necessarily mean there will be new elections, which are currently slated for late 2019. President Reuven Rivlin could appoint someone else to try and build a new coalition, a scenario Leader of the Opposition Isaac Herzog says he has already discussed with Kahlon. 

 

Minister of Education Naftali Bennett said in response to the escalation in the debate, "Israel needs stability and not elections, investment in its citizens, and not investing billions in ballots… Ask any Israeli citizen, right or left, what is important, and they would tell you it's not re-elections."

 

Lapid (Photo: Ido Erez)
Lapid (Photo: Ido Erez)

 

MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) also commented on the events, criticizing the prime minister for flip-flopping over the last few days.

 

Lapid emphasized that instead of dealing with petty squabbles and notions that the majority of Israeli population is not even familiar with, the government should be focusing on "health and Gaza." 

 

Netanyahu went back on his agreements with Kahlon last week, claiming another corporation would be unnecessary since its costs are too high. Instead, the prime minister would rather revamp the IBA.

 

Bennett and Lapid are just two of the MKs who seem to be against the prime minister on this issue; thus far, 13 members of government and MKs are opposed to the possibility of re-elections, while six have expressed their support.

  

AP contributed to this report.

 

(Translated and edited by N. Elias) 

 

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