Bolstering Channel 14: Tycoons’ Interests Favored Over Public Good

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This document is submitted on behalf of Zulat and of Ms. Liora Nir of the Fair Regulation Movement ahead of a meeting of the Knesset Economics Committee scheduled for 18 March 2024. It deals with the first version of the aforementioned bill submitted by MK Ariel Kellner, as well as with an updated version dated 13 March containing amendments presumably instigated by the committee’s legal counsel. Both versions consist of unlawful customized arrangements that clearly favor vested interests at the expense of the public purse and the public interest.

In its original version, the bill seeks to cut to a minimum the fee paid by niche television channels for transmission on the Idan Plus system. This is an unlawful customized arrangement specifically tailored to the needs of Channel 14 (owned by Jewish Israeli Channel Ltd.) that seeks to exempt it from this payment.

To cover up its true intent and to fend off claims about unlawful customized legislation, an amended version of the bill seeks to extend this financial benefit to all users, including the age-old commercial channels that transmit on Idan Plus using SD technology (Channel 12’s Keshet and Reshet) and the public broadcasters Kan and Knesset Channel, thereby imposing it on the entire Israeli public under the false pretext of “increasing competition.”

If this were not enough, the bill, in both of its versions, seeks to introduce yet another customized arrangement, whereby Channel 14 would be fully immune from termination of its transmissions for failure to pay its debt to the Second Authority for Television and Radio (SATR), at a time when the latter’s lawsuit to collect this debt is currently pending in court.

In addition, the bill seeks to generate another significant financial benefit for tycoons at the expense of the public purse. At present, the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC) is allowed to collect standard rates from commercial bodies for the use of its archive material. The bill seeks to change this situation, and oblige the IPBC to make this material available at operating cost only.

An air of illegality hovers over these proposals, which constitute a clear violation of the public interest. They create customized arrangements tailored to the size, status, and specific needs of Channel 14, which will create a budget shortfall that will be then be passed on to the public. It is an unfounded, unjustified, and disproportionate move that will in no way result in “increasing competition.”

These unlawful arrangements were put forward without any factual basis or financial/competitive examination, and without affording the legislator the opportunity to review the economic and public justification for awarding such major benefits to broadcasters and tycoons. Granting benefits totaling tens of millions of shekels is illegal at all times, and even more so in the country’s current state of emergency due to the war in Gaza. It is absurd that even at such a time the legislator should choose to grant huge benefits to tycoons and exacerbate the harm to the public, instead of acting for its good and wellbeing.


Dr. Maha Sabbah Karkabi


Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Tel Aviv University (2015), a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Gender Studies, SOAS, University of London (2015-2016), a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Sociology at Tel Aviv University (2016-2017), and a postdoctoral fellowship Ph.D. at the Humphrey Institute for Social Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (2018-2020).
Dr. Maha Karbahi’s areas of interest focus on the connection between social change, family behavior, and gender inequality in societies in the process of change and specifically in Palestinian Arab society in Israel. Her research draws attention to the study of family life and employment, using a combined “ethnic lens” and “gender lens” and paying attention to the perspective of Palestinian Arab women, a group characterized by intersections between multiple marginal locations, which over the years has remained hidden from the research eye. Dr. Karkabi-Sabah’s research is published in professional journals and chapters in scientific books that are considered pioneers in family research, work, and gender equality.


Prof. Frances Raday

Professor Emeritus in the Lieberman Chair in Labor Law, in the Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University and serves as a full professor in the College of Management’s academic track, where she also serves as chair of the graduate program and as honorary president of the Concord Center for International Law Absorption. Radai was a member of a working group of the UN Human Rights Council on discrimination against women. In addition, she is a prominent and feminist human rights activist.


Dr. Rawia Aburabia 

Faculty member of Sapir Academic College’s School of Law, received her PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her research deals with the interface between law, gender, minorities, and human rights. Has published in leading journals on the subject of the matrimonial laws pertaining to Muslim women in Israel. Her book Under the Law, Outside Justice: Polygamy, Gendered Citizenship, and Colonialism in Israeli Law is expected to be published as part of the Gender Series of Kibbutz Meuhad Publishing House.

Dr. Aburabia has extensive experience in international human rights and public law. She has worked as a jurist for the Association for Civil Right and has been invited as a specialist to address such international forums as the United Nations and the European Parliament on the subject of indigenous communities and minority rights. She has interned with Human Rights Watch in Washington DC, and has been a member of the executive board of Amnesty International. In 2018, she was selected by the magazine Globes as one of the 40 most promising young persons in Israel under the age of 40.



Ron Kessler

With over two decades of experience in the field of digital content, Ron has participated in numerous political and social campaigns. He helped run the digital activity of senior public officials, and worked in various NGOs. Ron is a fundamentally optimistic man, who believes that Israel can be changed and so can people. Lives in Tel Aviv.