A broadcasting room at Israel Radio.
(photo credit: COURTESY IBA)
The Israeli Arab radio station A-Shams and the NGO Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel filed a petition on Thursday to the High Court of Justice against the decision of the Second Authority for Television and Radio to ban broadcasts during Yom Kippur.
Radio station founder and owner Suhil Karam had made repeated requests on the matter and only on Wednesday received a reply that he must avoid broadcasting on Yom Kippur.
The High Court ordered the state to file a reply to the petitioners’ claim by Friday at 10 a.m.
In the petition, they claimed that the banning of broadcasting on Yom Kippur violates the fundamental rights of the owners of the radio station and listeners, mostly from the Arab sector.
According to the law, they said, Arabs should not be forced to follow the holidays of other communities in Israel, especially this year when Yom Kippur occurs on the same day this Saturday as the Muslim holiday of Id al-Adha.
Adalah lawyers wrote in the petition that allowing “broadcasting in Arabic to the Arab population does not offend the religious feelings of the Jewish population.”
The petition also argued that the prohibition sends a message that humiliates the Arab public and tells them that they have an inferior status.
Breaking the ban risks a high fine or a possible loss of license, said the petition.
Last year Karam decided he had no choice but not to broadcast on the most holy Jewish holiday.