IDF Radio to be removed from Ministry of Defense?

Defense Minister Gantz intends to cut the station out of the Defense Ministry.

Shlomo Witty ,

Galai Tzahal
Galai Tzahal
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Defense Minister Benny Gantz has decided to remove Galai Tzhal (IDF Radio) from the Ministry of Defense.

On the recommendation of Chief of Staff Lt. Col. Aviv Kochavi and after preliminary discussions held in the IDF and the Ministry of Defense, it was decided to distance both organizations from the otherwise independent radio station.

The decision stems from the need to separate the IDF from the political spectrum.

In the coming days, an inter-ministerial professional team will be set up, headed by the Director General of the Ministry of Defense, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Amir Eshel, which will include representatives from the Ministry of Defense, the IDF, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Communications, to discuss whether to close the station or have it continue its broadcast as a civilian station.

Ganz said: "The decision I made on the recommendation of the chief of staff is a matter of values ​​and not of budget. Israel's free press is extremely important, and I will continue to defend it and ensure its independence, but the existence of a military station in the IDF is unreasonable at this time.”

"I have determined that those in uniform will not engage in politics in any manner. This is an unthinkable state of affairs that contradicts the IDF's values of integrity and proper conduct. I value Army Radio and the broad spectrum of ideas it represents, but it needs to find another outlet for its activities.”

Galai Tzahal said in response to Defense Minister Ganz's announcement: "Galai Tzahal, now in its seventieth year, is an asset to Israeli culture and society. It is a home for soldiers, a home for Israeli art, culture and art, a home for countless excellent journalists. Army Radio is a home for Israeli democracy and a protected flower, which must be guarded in its entirety. "

MK Dr. Shlomo Karai from the Likud applauded the decision: "A broken clock is also right twice a day. I welcome the decision to remove the Army Radio from the army and hope that it will be privatized instead of running on public funds.”

According to Karai, "There is no justification for a publicly funded station. The communications market must be opened up to competition with private national stations.”

The organization “Torat Lechima” (military doctrine) commented, "We welcome the decision to close Galai Tzahal. The station does everything but serve the IDF's goal of victory in battle. Moreover, it sometimes seems that the only connection between the station and the army was to weaken the IDF by taking up funds, promoting progressive values, harming Zionism, Judaism, and settlements, and giving a platform to radical minorities, all while desecrating the holy Sabbath and operating in stark contrast to the protocols forbidding uniformed soldiers from political activity.”