Coalition Crisis: No IBA worker will be abandoned

Finance Minister says he will make sure all 1,000 IBA employees who stand to lose their jobs are taken care of.

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Yoni Kempinski,

Kahlon and Bennett at press conference
Kahlon and Bennett at press conference
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Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, Yafeh Ben David, the head of the Israel teacher's union, held a press conference Sunday in which they revealed the agreement which they had signed on the status of the teacher.

During the press conference, Kahlon and Bennett were asked about the coalition crisis which has arisen over the closure of the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA).

Kahlon said that the decision to close the IBA was made before he joined the coalition. "I pledge to take care of the affairs of the workers (of the IBA). We have been meeting with each one personally, and I am responsible to see that no employee is abandoned. The previous government did what it did and threw them at me. I'm telling you - we'll take care of these people in the best possible way."

Bennett said: "Israel needs stability and freedom. We have a good nationalist government. I call on all parts of the government - including first and foremost the Prime Minister - not to take the country to elections over the IBA."

On Saturday night, Netanyahu announced that he changed his mind regarding the closure of the Israel Broadcast Authority and the creation of the new Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation. He also said he expects the other coalition partners to respect the Likud's decision, but left the final decision up to Kahlon, who may or may not decide to pull out of the coalition. If Kahlon did pull out, this would force new elections.

All the coalition parties signed an agreement to respect Netanyahu's decisions on the communications industry before joining the coaliton, so that the prime minister, who said that he has become convinced recently that the idea to close the IBA and create a new authority was a costly mistake, is within his formal rights.