'I was like an idol in the Temple at Army Radio'

Musician Dudu Elharar does not understand decision to keep Army Radio as part of IDF; 'It's the home of the extreme left'.

Benny Toker,

Army Radio headquarters
Army Radio headquarters
Mark Neyman/GPO

Musician Dudu Elharar is baffled by the Defense Minister's decision to keep Army Radio (Galei Tzahal) a part of the Israel Defense Forces.

"Unfortunately, this station continues to exist as such at the public's expense. People there will continue to do what they have done until now, only their behavior will worsen. The station purports to be public programming with no justification. We already have public broadcasting, such as the Broadcasting Authority or the New Corporation [that is to replace the Broadcasting Authority], and if they want to compete they should compete like everyone else and fund themselves. There is no justification for us to provide them an umbrella and certainly not within the framework of the army."

According to Elharar, when David Ben-Gurion established Army Radio he never dreamed of the kind of broadcasting station it would become: "When the station was established in 1950, it had several objectives: To be an effective communication medium for the army to educate the youth, immigrant absorption, and teaching the Hebrew language. Today there's no public broadcasting, only extreme-left broadcasting. The station is the predominant hothouse for all Israeli media, but it is no longer home to the soldiers, but rather home to the Tzfonbonim (slang for north-Tel Aviv residents, perceived by some to be an effete corps of bourgeois snobs)".

Elharar rejects claims that conservatives are also integrated into the station: "I've been broadcasting there for over ten years and I was like an idol in the Temple. All my programs were under constant strict review. Also today, Erel Segal is the token conservative fig leaf, but the minute he crosses the line a bit he will be reprimanded."

He sees the situation where those who are not elected have most of the power as proof that the government is not in control in the State of Israel: "The ones in control here are academics, human rights organizations, the media, and the justice system. Just look at what they did to the Prime Minister, how many are attacking him, because of the [existence of the pro-Netanyahu] newspaper Israel Today".

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