Israel's Defense Ministry to Determine Army Radio’s Fate Within 6 Weeks

Ministry director general is drawing up recommendations about whether to close the station.

An IDF soldier in the offices of Army Radio, last year.
David Bachar

Defense Ministry Director-General Udi Adam is expected to submit his recommendations regarding the future of Army Radio in around six weeks.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman appointed Adam to evaluate the necessity of the station's continuing operation three weeks ago. He told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Monday that Adam’s conclusions are due to be submitted by the beginning of September.

Around a year ago Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot expressed support for closing the station, explaining that it did not seem particularly democratic for the military to be running a public radio station, and that there was no financial justification for continuing to operate it when the IDF is downsizing.

The defense establishment began discussing what other body could absorb the station, and among the possibilities mooted was the Defense Ministry’s security and social branch. That proposal was subsequently dropped, however, because then-Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon opposed it, saying it was “a fixed reality that Army Radio is part of the public service and Israeli democracy.”

The IDF Education Corps has responsibility for Army Radio, which receives a 20-million-shekel ($5.18 million) budget from the army.