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Settler radio limited

Following Gush Shalom’s appeal, settler radio’s broadcasts will have to stop broadcasting within the Green Line, in violation of the terms of its concession

Gush Shalom: The settlers attempted a backhanded way of setting up a countrywide extreme right radio station

June 5, culminated a long struggle waged by the Gush Shalom movement against attempts by the settlers radio station “Galey Yisrael” (Israel Waves) to broadcast to the areas within the Green Line (pre-’67 border) contrary to the terms of their concession, and transform itself into a country-wide political and ideological radio broadcasting extreme right propaganda to Israel’s main population centers.

The Gush Shalom Movement, represented by Att. Gaby Lasky, had last year filed an appeal against the settler radio. Prior to the court session set for Wednesday, June 5, the state presented its answer – confirming that the settler radio had indeed broadcast into the Green Line, contrary to the terms of its concession. Further, the state listed a series of concrete measures taken in order to prevent such "broadcasting leakage".

Among other things, the state representatives informed the judges that the settlers’ transmitter at the "Eitanim” site near Jerusalem was closed down, after the Minister of Communications cancelled its permit. In addition, the military government’s Civil Administration ordered “an immediate end of operations” to another transmitter, located at the Yatir site near Hebron, and the Civil Administration considers measures to enforce this decree upon the settler radio.

Additionally, Civil Administration inspectors visited the settlers’ main transmitters – at " Har Bracha "near Nablus and “Rosh Tsurim" in the Bethlehem Area – and discovered that the aerials were not aligned in a North- South direction, as they should be for a radio station aimed at listeners in West Bank settlements. Rather, the aerials were aligned in a way which seems to indicate transmissions westwards, to Israel’s main population centers on the costal plain to the west. The Civil Administration ordered the station’s directors to "change the alignment of the their transmitters aerials, so as to comply with the terms of the concession given to the station”.

Moreover, in the State's response was also reported that the Civil Administration works to enforce upon the settler radio payment of “Frequency Fees” for the years 2012-13, a fundamental requirement which the station had failed to meet.

In light of the state's response, which indicated that the appeal had achieved its purpose, and the enumerated concrete steps taken by the state authorities to enforce the law and stop the blatant violation of the terms of the concession, the Judges suggested that Gush Shalom had achieved it’s aim. Thus, the judicial procedure came to its end.

Adam Keller, Gush Shalom Spokesperson, said: "We were able to uncover and foil the devious tricks used by the settler radio settlers to try 'leaking' its broadcasts outside its franchise area and create by the back door a countrywide radio station with their own clear political and ideological identity. We regard this as a littlebut concrete achievement in our struggle against the occupation which has just become 46 years old.

Originally, the settlers had been given state encouragement to create their own politically committed radio station – while the 'Voice of Peace' radio, carrying an opposite political message, was completely shut down and barred from the air. Through a years long struggle, which began in 2007, we have at least achieved to clip the wings of the settler radio.

Freedom of expression should be available to all parts of the political spectrum, with no discrimination, a level playing field. If the settlers want to establish a special extreme right broadcasting station – let them go ahead, but it should be done within the law and under conditions of equal opportunity, with no discrimination against stations reflecting the positions of the political left”.