• Issue: February 2018
  • Designer: Meir Eshel
  • Stamp Size: 30 mm x 40 mm
  • Plate no.: 1075
  • Security mark: Microtext
  • Sheet of 15 stamps, Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Cartor Security Printing, France
  • Method of printing: Offset

The Six Day War not only added territory to the State of Israel, but also hundreds of thousands of Arab residents who had been exposed until then to television broadcasts from neighboring Arab countries. That was one of the motivations behind the Israeli government's decision, after many years of indecision surrounding the establishment of a national public television station that would also broadcast in Arabic to the residents of the territories. The objective was to counter the propaganda which was being broadcasted from across the border.

The process was carried out quickly because the IDF parade in Jerusalem on May 1968, Israel's 20th Independence Day, was selected to be the first broadcast, It was a race against the clock to recruit professional manpower and equipment, for broadcasting and recording that had not existed until then in Israel. That was a one-time broadcast, and regular broadcasting did not commence until three months later, in August 1968. Initially, broadcasts were provided three times a week, centered on the Mabat La'Hadashot news broadcast - the only program that was broadcasted continuously until the Israel Broadcasting Authority closed down.

For the first 25 years, Israel Television, which was also called the "General Television" and eventually "Channel One'', was the only channel and had viewer ratings that seem impossible today: the most popular shows were watched by 70%-90% of the viewers. The central news broadcast Mabat La'Hadashot was an element of social cohesiveness in those years, oftentimes determining the political, economic, social and cultural agenda.

Other shows that were cornerstones of the channel were: Kolbotek - a consumer magazine that uncovered bureaucratic and consumer wrongs and also had very high viewer rating; Amud Ha'Esh - a program that showed the history of Zionism from its inception to the establishment of the State of Israel and aroused large-scale response and public debate; Nikui Rosh - a satirical program that took on the government every week anew.

The national channel was required to reflect all aspects of the population in its broadcasts in the realms of news, sports, religion, children, documentaries, entertainment and drama. The television archive houses hundreds of thousands of articles, films, series, programs and broadcasts documenting the life of the State of Israel over the past 50 years. During those years, some Channel One employees were awarded the Israel Prize.

With the establishment of cable, satellite and commercial networks, came the first competition for the heart of the viewer and most viewers abandoned Channel One, until it was eventually shut down in May 2017 following the closure of the Israel Broadcast Authority by virtue of a law passed by the Knesset.

Benny Ohry
director, reporter, editor and producer, Channel One

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Israel Television - 50 Years