In Bid to Avert Early Elections, Netanyahu’s People Mull New Public TV Station - Without TV

The proposal by the prime minister’s associates would also prevent Geula Even, the anchorwoman wife of Likud rival Gideon Sa’ar, from broadcasting on television.

Anchorwoman Geula Even.
Ohad Zwigenberg

Associates of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu might support the establishment of a public broadcasting corporation that does not broadcast on television, said political sources who discussed the idea with Netanyahu’s aides accompanying him on his visit to China.

The idea would be one way to end a political crisis that could bring down Netanyahu’s right-wing government. Late Monday, Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon were far from a compromise on opening Israel’s new broadcasting corporation, heightening the crisis, close associates of both leaders said.

Under the idea broached Tuesday, the new public broadcaster known as Kan would begin broadcasting as planned on April 30, but only online and on the radio. The Israel Broadcasting Authority that is currently slated to be closed would continue broadcasting television programs on Channel 11.

This would prevent Geula Even-Sa’ar, whose appointment as a Kan news anchor was announced Monday, from presenting the news on television.

Benjamin Netanyahu at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 20, 2017.
AFP / Wang Zhao

Even-Sa’ar is married to Gideon Sa’ar, a former education and interior minister considered a bitter rival of Netanyahu. A high-profile journalist and anchorwoman, Even-Sa’ar has had a long career on Channel 1 and the educational channel.

Likud officials said Monday that Even-Sa’ar’s appointment was among the reasons Netanyahu stiffened his opposition to a compromise with Kahlon that would get Kan broadcasting as planned.