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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Australia to block Hezbullah TV

The Australian government is seeking to block al-Manar television - Hezbullah's propaganda station - from being shown through a cable provider in Indonesia. In response, the Indonesians have compared al-Manar to CNN and Al-Beeb (I guess if they're talking about the political outlook rather than the actual content, the Indonesians have a valid point).

Let's go to a videotape with a sample of Al-Manar and then we'll go on with the story.

But the Australians don't want al-Manar in their country.
The al-Manar channel, owned by the Lebanon-based Hizbullah, is popular with Arabic speakers in Australia, broadcasting programs including "The Spider's House", a talk show targeted at uncovering weaknesses in 'The Zionist Entity,' or Israel.

"The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has strong concerns about the broadcast in Australia of programs that contain terrorist-related content," ACMA spokesman Donald Robertson told Reuters.

Al-Manar, or 'The Beacon,' was banned in the United States in 2004. It describes itself as the 'Station of the Resistance' against Israel and US foreign policy, with around 15 million viewers around the world.

Launched in 1991 with backing from Iran, the station has just resumed broadcasting into Asia and the Pacific using the Indosat telecommunications service partly owned by the Indonesian government.

Other controversial programs carried by the channel include "My Blood and the Rifle", which lionizes Hizbullah fighters and encourages viewers to join the anti-Israel resistance.


A spokeswoman for Indosat, Adita Irawati, said on Thursday: "Basically this is a purely business deal.

"We treat them like any other broadcasters who request to use Indosat's transponder. There's no special issue here. Our review shows that they (al-Manar) are meeting the criteria as our customers so it's a pure business deal."

She said the contract, signed in April, would last for three years. It did not regulate the content of the broadcasts.

Earlier this month US diplomats complained to Indonesian authorities about the channel, but Information and Communications Minister Mohammad Nuh said the government had no right to label a television station as a terrorist network or shut it down.

"Al-Manar is similar to Al-Jazeera, BBC and CNN, they are television broadcasters," the state Antara news agency quoted Nuh as saying.
Read the whole thing.

For those who have forgotten, Israel provided assistance to Indonesia in the aftermath of the tsunami that took place there in December 2004.
On January 12, [2005], a plane carrying 75 tons of equipment valued at $450,000 landed near the tsunami-affected area of Aceh. The cargo included the following:
• 16 tons of baby food donated by the Remedia and Materna companies.
• 30 tons of rice, flour, water, sugar and grains donated by the Koach Latet organization as well as the Sugat and Osem companies.
• 5 tons of plastic sheeting donated by Hovav Plastica and Haogenplast.
• 20 tons of medicine produced by Teva Pharmaceuticals, donated through the Latet organization.
• A water purification system valued at $20,000 produced by the Netafim manufacturer, donated by Shari Arison Glazer and the Shira Hadasha Congregation, in Jerusalem. The manufacturer Netafim also donated a second system.
• A contribution of $300,000 of the Sacta-Rashi Foundation. Mark Solomon and the Friends of Yemin Orde Wingate Youth Village covered the cost of the flight.
• The above contribution together with that of Koach Latet, also provided ten communications networks produced by Gilat Satellite Networks, which provided two additional networks.
• El Al provided the plane at minimal cost, and the Defense Ministry and Maman provided quick, efficient and free service at the airport.
Gratitude anyone?


At 6:50 PM, Blogger Findalis said...

How about Israel send to Indonesia a bill for the supplies they sent. Or would that be rubbing too much salt into the wound?

At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Canada a couple years ago there was a big debate about letting Al Jazeera into the country. The left-wing people claimed that Fox News was much worse than Al Jazeera, so we should let them in. Thank G-d we have a conservative government now.

At 9:46 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - if cable had existed before World II, does any one imagine Nazi programming being offered in the West would just be a pure "business deal?" The Australians are taking the right stand. Its not just about business when an enemy is seeking to whip up hatred of Jews and the West. Australia has the right to protect itself from the ricochet effect of Hezbollah's propaganda. And there's no free speech principle at stake here since if you can't pay to watch cable, you can't see it at all.

At 9:08 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


The Aussies are doing the right thing, but if there had been cable during World War II, I'd bet there would have been a lot of Nazi programming (and not just in the countries they took over - France would have had it before the Nazis came).


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