Broadcast of terrorist Hezbollah’s Al-Manar into Australia is not about freedom of speech and must be stopped
The reports that Hezbollah’s al-Manar television station is once again broadcasting into Australia, this time via Indonesian satellite company Indosat, is of critical concern to Melbourne’s Jewish community and should be to all Australians, said Dr Danny Lamm, President of the State Zionist Council of Victoria.
“The open door for al-Manar into Australia so that it may broadcast Hezbollah’s agenda of incitement and hatred is unacceptable to peaceful Australians. The Australian government has proscribed Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation. Whilst freedom of speech is a recognised value in our society, we must also work hard to safeguard this freedom, and ensure that it is neither exploited nor manipulated by supporters of terror and violence” Dr Lamm said.
Last night, at the SZC co-hosted Oration for Israel’s 60th Anniversary, Dr Lamm directly called on federal MP Mark Dreyfus, a guest at the event, as well as the Minister of Communications, Stephen Conroy and the government, to do whatever is possible to prevent al-Manar from broadcasting again, as it had already been successfully blocked in the past.
In a 1998 speech published on Hezbollah’s official website, Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah referred to Israel as “the state of the grandsons of apes and pigs – the Zionist Jews”.
In his comments, Dr Lamm specifically referred to Australian Arabic Council Chairman Roland Jabbour who told The Age newspaper’s Barney Zwartz that that it was “reasonable” for al-Manar to utilize classic anti-Semitic rhetoric – the calling of Jews the offspring of apes and pigs, the portrayal of Rabbis killing Christian children to use their blood in Passover meals – in their programming in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“There should be action against the outrageous statements of Roland Jabbour. Such blatant vilification of Jewish people repeated in the media is simply providing a platform for anti-Semitism, however thinly veiled as anti-Israel sentiment” Dr Lamm said.
In an article on Israeli news service Ynet, Jabbour reiterated that al-Manar was popular with many Muslim viewers in Australia and any block would be an interference with free speech. “The accusations that are directed at the station that it advocates suicide bombings, I think if it does that it does it in the context of using whatever means are available in order to defend their territory,” he said.
“Roland Jabbour’s justification of terrorist acts, the killing of Israeli civilians is inexcusable” Dr Lamm stated.
Roland Jabbour’s community service appears impressive – Jabbour has received an Australian Medal for the centenary of federation of Australia awarded by the Prime Minister of Australia for service to the Australian Arab Community and a certificate of appreciation by the Premier of Victoria in recognition of voluntary service to the community – which makes it utterly shameful that someone in his position, a seemingly strong proponent of multiculturalism – should support the broadcast of anti-Semitism, violence and terror in the name of militant Islam.
Background on Al-Manar
Al-Manar is the mouthpiece of Hezbollah, a proscribed Islamic terror organisation, whose coverage glorifies suicide bombings and other terrorist acts against Israeli civilians, encourages Muslim children to aspire for martyrdom, and regularly calls for the elimination of Israel, most often through its head, Hassan Nasrallah.
Al-Manar has a documented history of broadcasting material which is not only anti-Israel, anti- American and anti-Western, but also anti-Semitic.
Wikipedia describes Al-Manar as: Hezbollah’s satellite television station. Al-Manar broadcasts from Beirut, Lebanon. The station was launched by Hezbollah in 1991 with the help of Iranian funds. Al-Manar, self-proclaimed “Station of the Resistance” (qanat al-muqawama), is a key player in what Hezbollah calls its “psychological warfare against the Zionist enemy” and an integral part of Hezbollah’s plan to spread its message to the entire Arab world.
Hezbollah’s television station Al-Manar airs programming designed to inspire suicide attacks in Gaza, the West Bank, and Iraq. Al-Manar’s transmission in France is prohibited due to promotion of Holocaust denial, a criminal offense in France. The United States lists Al-Manar television network as a terrorist organization.
From the inception of Hezbollah to the present, the elimination of the State of Israel has been one of Hezbollah’s primary goals. Some translations of Hezbollah’s 1985 Arabic-language manifesto state that “our struggle will end only when this entity [Israel] is obliterated”.
Translated clips from al-Manar television are readily available to view on YouTube.
For more information contact:
SZCV Executive Director, Ginette Searle 9272 5544
SZCV Director of Public Affairs, Elly Shalev 9272 5519
The State Zionist Council of Victoria leads and encourages Jewish and Zionist activity and expression within Victoria, to represent the Jewish community, to promote and communicate Israel’s interests within the broader Victorian community and to promote Victoria’s relationship with Israel.
For more information, please visit the State Zionist Council of Victoria website www.szcvic.org