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Israeli journalists urge A-G to stop Gantz’s shutdown of Army Radio

CM 02/05/2021

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The Union of Journalists in Israel on Sunday submitted an urgent appeal to Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit to stop Defense Minister Benny Gantz from shutting down Army Radio. The Attorney-General had previously stated that it is not within Gantz’s power to shut the station down during a transitional government, but the union has insisted that it is imperative to act now. The union is being represented by attorneys Moran Savorai and Amir Bashah. According to the union, the ministry sees the decision to shut down the station as no different from the decision to close a military unit; it is under the auspices of the IDF. A decision such as this would not require the permission or authority of the parliament, rather, it is something the Defense Ministry can decide independently. “Army Radio is central to the spreading of news and information in the Israeli public debate sphere,” the union argued back. “It is inconceivable to shut it down.” When the Defense Ministry announced the decision in January, it was met with a massive amount of backlash.

Gantz has argued that politics do not have a place in the daily lives of soldiers, and that it “goes against IDF values and against the integrity [within the IDF].” The Defense Ministry reasoned at the time that there needed to be a separation between “service of the IDF soldiers from the actions of a media outlet where soldiers wearing uniform are dealing with political content,” a statement noted.

Udi Shaham contributed to this report.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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