Israel May Get to Have Its Own 'Fox News'

Free at last? Non-leftist Channel 20 requests permission to create a news department.

Gil Ronen ,

Leftward tilt? Yonit Levy
Leftward tilt? Yonit Levy

Channel 20, which is considered the only Israeli television channel that leans right of center as opposed to the left, has filed a request for permission to create its own news department.

Under the terms of the tender by which it was created, the channel currently must produce interview shows relating to current events, but news broadcasts are optional. If the channel wishes to broadcast news, it must first receive permission from the Cable and Satellite Authority.

The channel began broadcasting during Operation Protective Edge last summer. Nine months later, and two years after winning the tender, the channel has filed a request with the Cable and Satellite Authority to broadcast news as well.

Channel 20 said Monday that “in accordance with the tender, the channel may file a request for producing news independently, and this is what we did. We promise to reflect the spectrum of voices and opinions in Israeli society, and put the periphery [i.e. areas outside metropolitan Tel Aviv, including that lower socio-economic strata – ed.] in the center, not the margins.”

"In these days, as the media is searching its soul, there seems to be no more proper timing for establishing a new news company, that will contribute to increased pluralism in Israel.”

Israelis who do not ascribe to left-wing views have yearned for many years for a television news outlet that will reflect their viewpoint. Instead, they have been subjected to the fiercely leftist channels 2 and 10.

Channel 2's main news anchor, Yonit Levy, has been noted as having a habit of expressing her revulsion from nationalist guests by tilting her body away from them, as can be seen in the interview with Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett, embedded below.

The public commission in charge of Channel 2 is currently looking into complaints from scores of citizens, regarding Levy's broadcast of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's speech in Congress March 3. When he spoke about the freedom of Arabs who live in Israel as compared with those in Arab countries, she added her own comments, about alleged discrimination that the Arabs suffer from.