PM Netanyahu confirms objection to the IPBC, threatens election
After holding a meeting with several ministers and coming to an agreement against establishing the IPBC and even deciding to seek elections if a compromise with the finance minister cannot be reached, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now confirms his change of position in a Facebook post.
Early Saturday the prime minister held a meeting with Likud Ministers of Tourism Yariv Levin and of Culture and Sport Miri Regev, and Tzachi Hanegbi, who does not hold a portfolio. Coalition Chairman and fellow Likud member MK David Bitan also attended.
The general consensus of the meeting was that the IPBC should not be allowed to be erected, and that the feud between Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) over the subject of the IPBC and the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) cannot be allowed to continue.
The ministers told Netanyahu that Kahlon has the most to lose from an election, claiming that they expect Yesh Atid Leader MK Yair Lapid to steal a lot of his votes.
During the meeting the ministers presented Netanyahu with the data concerning the IBA's restructure, claiming that it won't require any further spending, and is therefore out of the Kahlon's jurisdiction, since the finance minister cannot interfere in any law concerning communications which doesn’t require funding.
In the meeting Netanyahu summarized that he will stand against establishing the IPBC, adding, "If we don't reach an agreement with Kahlon, we will hold elections."
In a Facebook post, Netanyahu confirmed, "I changed my opinion following a meeting I held with IBA workers yesterday. In the meeting I listened to heart-wrenching stories about experiences and dedicated workers sent home because of the IPBC.
"In addition to that, it was revealed during the meeting that, contrary to data by the Finance Ministry, the cost of keeping the IBA running is tens of millions of shekels cheaper than erecting the IPBC. So what do we even need it for?"
Sources close to Minister Kahlon responded to the Prime Minister claims, saying that Netanyahu "has Kahlon's number. If he wants to go back on his word he can call."
Those same sources added that "If Netanyahu wants elections—Kahlon is not worried. The IPBC will be erected just as it was agreed on."
(Translated & edited by Lior Mor)