Prime Minister Netanyahu wants to establish the Israeli BBC

November 24, 2016 23:04

According to the chaos theory, when a butterfly flaps its wings in one part of the world it causes a hurricane in another. This theory is also true in the case of American Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. Whenever the secretary mentions Iran, chaos breaks out in the Israeli media.

In the past, the Secretary of Defense has voiced concerns regarding a possible Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities cautioning that such an attack could lead to unpredictable and disastrous results. Panetta was viewed by some as the chief opponent to any military action against Iran. But in a recent interview to ABC's "60 Minutes", the Secretary of Defense changed his tune.

Panetta stated that Iran could achieve nuclear capabilities within a year should it chose to excel its efforts. "The United States does not want Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. That's a red line for us and that's a red line, obviously, for the Israelis. If we have to do it we will deal with it". When asked about a possible military strike Panetta responded that no option was off the table and that a nuclear Iran was simply "unacceptable".

Upon hearing Panetta the hills surrounding Jerusalem were suddenly filled with sound of music. Israeli officials must have felt like Maria when Captain Von Trap's children finally learned to chant her tunes.

Israel's media outlets soon expressed the same feeling of euphoria. Interpretations of the secretary's remarks appeared in the mass media with various channels and newspapers climbing every mountain of speculation.

Some linked Panetta's statements to the recent meeting between Israeli Secretary of Defense Ehud Barak and US President Barak Obama. Others hypothesized that Obama was ready to deal with Iran now that the war in Iraq was behind him. Israeli Minister Matan Vilnay was quoted in the "Israel Today" newspaper as saying that Panetta's resolve may be the result of new intelligence data supplied by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Barak.

Forget about doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles, the Israeli media's favorite thing is the Ayatollah.

The only Television channel to offer a different take on the matter was Channel 10. Nadav Eyal, the Channel's foreign affairs editor, said that Panetta's interview was viewed as a dramatic shift in policy mainly in Israel. "It was not the headline of the New York Times" said Eyal adding that the road to an American strike is still a long and winding one.

Eyal's commentary embodies the spirit of Channel 10's news department which, at times, is willing to break away from the media's consensus that the Jewish state is about to expire, as Month Pyhton would have put it. This is perhaps the main difference between Channel 10 and Channel 2, Israel's second commercial TV channel. It is also the reason why the current government is doing all in its power to close channel 10.

Channel 2's news department is the darling of the Netanyahu government as it is an existential news department, one that continuously reminds its viewers that Israel's existence hangs by a thread. Its pessimistic commentator on Arab affairs, Ehud Yaari, coupled with its militant commentator on security affairs, Roni Daniel, are like Francis Ford Coppola warning of an Israeli apocalypse, now!

Prime Minister Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu knows that he is a war time Prime Minister, should the war disappear so might he. Netanyahu was reminded of this last summer when topics such as social gaps and welfare nearly saw his government collapse amidst public anger.

So Netanyahu needs the war to go on. Media outlets such as the "Israel Today" newspaper and Channel 2 aid him by counting down the seconds to an Iranian nuke. Channel 10 does not. Its insistences on dealing with other matters, such as social affairs, render it a danger to the Netanyahu government.

How do you solve a problem like channel 10? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?

Simple, you shut it down.

Therefore, the PM is leading his coalition in all out assault aimed at closing the channel and silencing its news department. This assault peaked two weeks ago when the coalition voted against the possibility of postponing Channel 10's debt payment thereby forcing it to close shop.

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen Adieu!...

It's possible that Benjamin (Bibi) Netanyahu is in a nostalgic mood. This could explain his recent comments regarding his childhood in the USA. Perhaps Netanyahu longs to return to the days of his youth in the 1960's when governing Israel was much easier as there was only one government owned channel.

Perhaps Netanyahu wants to establish the Israeli BBC- the way Bibi C's it.

I also blog here in Hebrew-

November 24, 2016 23:04

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