A Knesset emergency conference was initiated by MK Merav Michaeli and MK Yossi Yona, both of the Zionist Union party, today against the closure of Educational Television.
Educational TV is expected to close in August due to the Public Broadcasting Law. The channel will be controlled by the broadcasting corporation Kann and will become a children's channel.
The conference was also attended by members of Educational Television, including Yoav Kutner, who spoke to Arutz Sheva. "Education is a very important institution in Israeli culture, in programming for children and for adults," he said.
Kutner, who is known as an Israeli music expert and has worked on the channel from its inception, says "We came to raise a cry that they not close the channel. The Educational Television channel isn't ashamed, not at all a simple thing nowadays, to transmit values of art and culture and all kinds of topics that interest both youth and adults, in a way that doesn't lose ratings, in a way that doesn't turn everything into cheap entertainment."
Broadcaster Shimon Parnas, who also worked on Educational Television, attended the conference "in order to support, to express love and appreciation, and to protest against the trend toward closing Educational Television.
"I worked in all the possible channels and the place where I enjoyed working, from a standpoint of unrivalled in-depth and high-quality work, is Educational TV.
"Educational TV isn't only educational for children, it's educational for adults in Israel in the 21st century, and also adults - also we need education. The State needs not only to not close it, but to nurture it and empower it. In the era of very superficial television, junk food TV, and the tyranny of ratings, Educational Television is an island of sanity."
Parnes also claims that closing the channel will not lead to economic savings because the budget will go to the broadcasting corporation where it will be swallowed up and not provide the same output.
MK Yossi Yona said at the conference, "Educational TV is becoming more efficient, it is necessary, it is indispensable. Its broadcasts have been seen and watched for decades by children and parents.
"The government would do well to support the bill I proposed to save Educational TV so that we'll be able to preserve the workplaces of dozens of dedicated workers and continue to provide unique, educational content for Israeli children."
MK Merav Michaeli (Zionist Union) added, "Generations of girls and boys have grown and are still growing up on the wonderful and quality content of Educational TV. Educational TV proved and is still proving that there is such a thing as quality, responsible, and significant television. Contrary to the government's false propaganda, continuing Educational TV's activity will cost less than closing it. Closing Educational TV means the total abandonment of Israeli youngsters to market forces and we will fight it until the government retracts this mistaken decision."