Public Broadcasting Corporation Undermined Under Guise of Transparency

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This document was written by Zulat in response to the Israel Public Broadcasting Bill-2023 (Amendment: Annual Report to the Knesset Economics Committee) (the bill”). We would like to note from the outset that, in our opinion, the bill seeks to undermine the independence of the Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC) and to enable political influence over its operations, contrary to the stated goals of the Israel Public Broadcasting LawA-2014, by virtue of which the IPBC was established (“the IPBC Law”).

Among other things, the IPBC Law was intended to ensure the independence of the IPBC’s broadcasts and free it of political interference and interests, as well as to set oversight and transparency mechanisms over its activities and budgetary conduct. It requires the IPBC to submit annual activity and financial reports to the Minister of Communications, who may examine them, and if necessary, order the IPBC to submit additional reports and forward the financial reports for a professional audit by the Government Companies Authority (GCA).

Therefore, the bill does nothing to increase the transparency of the IPBC’s operations, given that its annual reports are transparent as it is, are submitted to the minister, are unclassified, and may be accessed by Knesset members and the general public on the IPBC’s website. The bill seeks to add another layer of oversight by the Knesset Economics Committee, thereby allowing for political influence on the IPBC and undermining its independence. The proposed additional supervisory layer would impair the oversight and transparency mechanisms set forth in the law and would run counter to the essence of the law and the purposes for which the IPBC was established, such as ensuring independent broadcasts, freedom of expression, and unbiased reportage, which are vital to the very existence of a democratic regime.

A review of the arrangements applicable to other public corporations scrutinized by the Knesset Economics Committee shows that they do not include such a political mechanism. Therefore, this raises cause for concern that it was uniquely tailored for the IPBC to enable politicians to exert improper influence on the IPBC’s broadcasts, thereby violating the basic principles of the State of Israel, including freedom of the press.



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.