First Published: 2009-01-09

 
France takes Hamas TV off air in Europe
 

Eutelsat halts broadcast of Noorsat to Europe less than 24 hours after it was added to satellite network.

 

Middle East Online

Media war on Hamas

PARIS - The Palestinian group Hamas's television channel was taken off the air in Europe less than 24 hours after it was added to a satellite network, industry officials said Friday.

Hamas announced on Monday that Europeans would be able to see its Al-Aqsa service via the French firm Eutelsat's satellites.

Al-Aqsa is Hamas' official mouthpiece, and its critics say that it has a show in which a man-sized pink rabbit named Assud urged children to embrace martyrdom and threatened to eat Jews (‘Jews’ is the name Israeli soldiers had used to identify themselves when communicating with Palestinian refugees, many of whom still in Gaza).

Alerted by industry sources, the French broadcasting regulator CSA this week wrote to Eutelsat and warned that much of Hamas' programming contravenes laws against inciting hatred and violence, the government body said.

A Eutelsat official said the company had never had a contract with Hamas but that it had rented space on one of its satellites to Noorsat, a Bahrein-based provider, which had in turn begun showing Al-Aqsa.

Noorsat was warned to respect French law, and the broadcast has halted.

"Al-Aqsa TV is notorious for its incitement to anti-Semitism," the Simon Wiesenthal Centre claimed in a letter to French regulators.

The Jewish human rights organisation alleged Al-Aqsa had last week carried a speech by Hamas official Mahmud al-Zahrar "who claimed that the Israeli operation in Gaza justifies Muslims murdering Jewish children worldwide."

The group claimed that Arabic-speaking Europeans could "be exposed to Jihadist calls for attacks on their Jewish neighbours and to revulsion for European values of secularism, multiculturalism and tolerance."

Critics say pro-Israel groups, which are influential in Europe, often exaggerate or even outright lie about the nature of Hamas discourse.

Critics add that Israeli channels also include Islamophophic or racist content, and they frequently justify Israeli terror or killings of Palestinians without being ever cut off the air.

In May 2005, France's highest judicial body the Council of State ordered Eutelsat to halt re-broadcasting of the Lebanese Hezbollah's Al-Manar station.

However, facts on the ground suggest that Jewish extremism is inciting hatred, leading to more death and destruction.

Israeli calls to annihilate all Arabs are not unheard of among top figures and symbols of the Jewish State.

Among the many infamous instances, Rabbi Ovadia Yossef, founder of the Shas religious party, had said: "It is forbidden to be merciful to them (the Arabs). You must send missiles to them and annihilate them. They are evil and damnable. May the Holy Name visit retribution on the heads of the Arabs and cause their seed to be lost."

Recently, commenting on the war on Gaza, former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu said that all civilians living in Gaza are collectively guilty for Kassam rockets, and thus deserve their punishment.

Such views are seen to have led to the slaughtering of Palestinian civilians, where a third of the victims are children.

According to Eliyahu’s religious ruling, that there was absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during the massive Israeli military offensive on Gaza.

However, extreme views do not pass through Hebrew media or Al-Aqsa TV alone. Christian extremists are also playing their part in the media game by justifying Israeli or US war crimes.

But as long as double standards prevail, Al-Aqsa TV will continue to be singled out for what it is alleged to have aired.

 

Drone strike kills at least 30 ‘Qaeda’ suspects in south Yemen

Without proof, France fires new chemical accusations at Assad regime

Kuwait shuts two papers for breaking news blackout on 'coup tape'

Twitter seeks to end ‘war’ with Erdogan: Two ‘leak accounts’ blocked!

Female candidates push rights issue to fore of Iraq election campaign

Libya jihadists show video of pleading kidnapped hostage

Palestine to US: Israel to meet demands or we dismantle PA

Rouhani engages in sweet talk: Iran women not second class citizens

Involvement in violent protests sends Morsi supporters behind bars

Suicide bomber targets Imam Kadhim University in Baghdad

Worse yet to come in South Sudan: Three-year-old nation on brink of collapse

Assad visits Maalula to celebrate ‘victory’ and ‘Easter’

Islamists kill 11 soldiers in worst attack on Algeria army in years

Kidnappers of Tunisian diplomat demand jailed Libyans release

Landmine blasts Tunisia soldier amid growing jihadist threat

Marzouki sets an 'example' by cutting salary by two-thirds

Rouhani: Iran does not intend to be aggressive but can defend itself

Turkey to Russia: We demand a gas price revision

An extraordinary meeting: Gulf ministers agree to end tension with Qatar

US releases $450 million Iranian frozen assets

‘Retaliation is life’ group vows to attack Egypt security forces

For Massacre-scarred Algeria village, peace is worth more than wealth

An act of heroism: Iraq policeman sacrifices himself to shield army recruits

UK ‘determined to catch’ killer of Libya embassy policewoman

Experts: Washington demanded removal of Saudi spy chief

Future of Algeria on wheelchair

Palestinians rally for solidarity with Israel-held prisoners

Turkey may clinch bid to dismantle Italy’s wrecked ship

Israeli, Palestinian negotiators to hold meeting with US envoy

UN ‘gravely concerned’ about South Sudan oil state fighting

South Sudan war: Child soldiers consumed by desire for retribution

Algerians casting their vote for president

Syria world’s most perilous country fro journalists

Egypt jails ex-presidential hopeful for fraud

Egypt leftist leader urges all revolutionary groups to unite

Jordan ‘destroyed’ combat vehicles entering from Syria

South Sudan army loses key oil town of Bentiu

Lebanon parliament soon to elect new president

Zarif to discuss Caspion Sea states in Russia

MERS spreading in Saudi Arabia

Algeria finally opens its piggybank to lure back exiled youth

Suicide bombs rock Ramadi government compound

Three Palestinians killed in Gaza blast

Peace talks delayed after Palestine blamed for fatal shooting

Palestinians clash with Israeli police in Al-Aqsa