Broadcasting Authority
Broadcasting AuthorityFlash 90

Employees of Channel 1 began a partial strike Sunday evening in protest against the impending closure of the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) next month.

During the broadcast Sunday evening, the employees placed a message on the screen saying: "Citizens of Israel, on April 30, the day before [Israeli] Memorial Day, the IBA will be closed by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon. A thousand families will be added to the cycle of unemployment - today it is us. Tomorrow it will be you."

Israel Prize winner Ya'akov Ahimeir, the current affairs editor and presenter for Channel 1, criticized the decision to close the IBA instead of restructuring it as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had promised.

"Channel 1 is being slowly depleted. The corridors of the television station are emptying out. It is not as busy as it once was," Ahimeir wrote on his Facebook page. "One measure of decline is the dining room buffet. More and more tables are open. The number of those who need to be served has declined sharply."

"People ask me, as someone who has worked in broadcasting for 50 years, [what is going on], and I tell them, I don't know. I was very moved when I heard one of the staff members sobbing behind me: 'This is my living.' Pending the sadness of April 30, the day when the studio screens will go dark, and this weeping worker will no longer receive his wages."

"And I've already said more than once: the closure of the IBA was unnecessary! The Prime Minister told the Knesset, specifically: 'The IBA should be restructured. So?! The process is conducted at the eleventh hour with no public protests. It is very sad. The statement of former Minister Yair Lapid signed the death certificate of the IBA, and we have received a very chilling reality. Lapid and Erdan can raise a glass [to the demise of the IBA]."