Israel Shuts Down Radio Station for Criticizing Regime

Jason Ditz – Anti November 21, 2011

The “All for Peace” radio station in Israel has been shut down by the nation’s Communications Ministry following claims that they were violating the law by illegally criticizing the far-right coalition government.

The Communications Ministry said the Hebrew-language broadcasts were illegal because they were “economically damaging” to other local radio stations, and said that since they were operating out of the West Bank they could not legally broadcast into Israel without special permission.

But MP Danny Danon, a top member of the ruling Likud Party, has boasted that he was responsible the shutdown, having pressed the Attorney General to shutter the station months ago before writing a letter demanding the Communications Ministry move against him.

“A radical leftist station that becomes an instrument of incitement must not be allowed to broadcast to the public,” Danon insisted, saying that one of the employees of the station once expressed support for Palestinian statehood in an on-air discussion.

The shutdown is just part of what a number of journalists in Israel are calling a broad effort to harm freedom of the press in the nation. Hundreds of journalists held a conference in Tel Aviv to discuss the ramifications of a newly proposed libel law that would allow MPs to sue journalists for publishing factual but damaging reports.