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Thursday, June 24, 2010

A small victory: Hamas TV yanked from European satellite

Today, the European Noorsat satellite will stop relaying programs from Hamas' Al Aqsa TV.

From the Al Qassam website:
Al-Aqsa Satellite channel has announced that it would stop broadcasting via the French Noorsat satellite as of 8 pm Thursday after failure of negotiations with the French government.

Samir Mohsen, director of programs in Al-Aqsa, told the PIC on Wednesday evening that the channel would continue to broadcast on the Arabsat satellite.

The bureau urged Egypt to host Al-Aqsa on Nilesat in its capacity as a committed national, Arab channel.
The decision was made last week, as AP reported:
A France-based satellite provider is halting broadcasts of the Hamas TV channel to Europe and parts of the Arab world because of concerns that it spreads incitement, a station official said Tuesday.

The decision will deprive Gaza-based al-Aqsa TV of most of its viewers, said the channel's head, Hazem Sharawy.

The Hamas station — best known for its children's programs glorifying violence against Israel — is the centerpiece of a growing media operation of Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers. Losing the satellite provider will hamper the group's attempts to spread its message and raise funds abroad.

The decision to cut off the Hamas station came six years after a similar move by France and the U.S. against al-Manar, the channel of Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah.

In Paris, Eutelsat spokeswoman Vanessa O'Connor said that last week the French broadcasting regulator CSA ordered it to stop beaming the Hamas channel into Europe by June 26. Al-Aqsa TV is part of a package of channels transmitted by Bahrain-based satellite operator Noorsat, which passes them in a single signal to Eutelsat, O'Connor said.
Since this was written by AP's Ibrahim Barzak, you can expect that the story would downplay how bad Al Aqsa TV is:
In the past, Israel and others have repeatedly accused al-Aqsa TV of inciting against Israel, especially in children's programs.

One of its most criticized programs, Tomorrow's Pioneers, once featured a high-pitched Mickey Mouse rip-off called "Farfour" who encouraged children to fight against the occupiers of Muslim countries, while taking calls from kids who were praised for singing about fighting Israel.

After a wave of criticism, the station killed off Farfour with mock-Israeli soldiers beating him to death. But it has not toned down the message of its children's programs.
Al Aqsa TV was more than just inciting against Israel - it was blatantly anti-semitic, as it broadcasted many Friday sermons talking about how evil Jews were.

And the children's Pioneers of Tomorrow show also had no compunction about talking about Jews. I made a satirical video about it once, which showed some of the things broadcast:


AP goes on:
Hamas sees media outreach as a vital part of the movement's success.

It has another television channel that broadcasts from Lebanon, several affiliated Web sites, a radio station, a glossy magazine for its military wing and two newspapers printed in Gaza. The militant group has also produced a movie glorifying one their militants and created animations boasting about their capture of an Israeli soldier held for the last four years in Gaza.
Why does Israel not have a satellite channel that broadcasts to Europe and the US?