November 22, 2011
Israel has closed down a dovish Israeli-Palestinian radio station in what its backers say is a politically-motivated decision to silence criticism of the Jewish state.
The Communications Ministry ordered the Kol Hashalom station, or All for Peace, to shut down earlier this month for broadcasting into Israel illegally. But Danny Danon, a member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s hawkish Likud party, boasted that he had instigated an investigation into the station for alleged incitement against Israel.
The attack on the radio station, which has broadcast for seven years, raises fresh concerns about press freedoms at a time when many of Israel’s liberals view the country’s democracy as under threat from the right wing.
Israel claims that All for Peace, established by Palestinian and Israeli activists, is a pirate radio station operating without a licence, but the station has countered that it has a licence from the Palestinian Authority, and does not require permission from Israel. The station has offices in East Jerusalem, but broadcasts from Ramallah in the West Bank.