ADL Urges French to Terminate Broadcast License of Hezbollah Satellite Network
Update: On December 13, 2004, the Council of State, France's highest administrative court, ordered the French-based network Eutelsat to end its satellite broadcasts of Al-Manar. ADL praised the decision, saying it could serve as a model for other nations to use the courts to take action against satellite companies who carry the Hezbollah station.
New York, NY, November 23, 2004 …The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called on France to reconsider its decision to allow the satellite network of a terrorist organization to continue broadcasting in France, despite the recommendation of the Interior Ministry that its transmission be terminated because of its regular anti-Semitic content.
The decision by the French Broadcasting Authority to allow Al-Manar, the satellite network of the Hezbollah terrorist organization, to continue to broadcast in France, "undermines the significant progress that the Government of France has made in the last year to combat the anti-Jewish and incendiary anti-Israel environment that exists in some sectors of French society," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, in a letter to French President Jacques Chirac. "Indeed, your Government had come to understand that attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions do not occur in a vacuum, that hateful propaganda coming from the Middle East is a major catalyst.
Noting that "anti-Semitism continues to be a serious problem in France," and that the "government has taken a number of steps to quell these anti-Jewish acts," Mr. Foxman said that by "allowing Al-Manar to preach its message of hate through television sets across France sends a very contrary message." He urged President Chirac to have "your government to reconsider this decision."
ADL supports CRIF, the representative body of French Jewry, in calling for the termination of Al-Manar's license because of its incendiary anti-Semitic and anti-Israel programming on a daily basis. It glorifies terrorism against Westerners, and calls for the recruitment of Palestinian "martyrs" to kill Jews. Al-Manar's messages of hate and violence are also often accompanied by explicit anti-Semitic themes, such as the dramatization of the medieval blood libel in last year's miniseries, "Ash Shatat." Al-Manar is also a conduit to channel money to Hezbollah, and it openly and actively solicits funds on the air and on its Web site.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.