Fatah Hamas press conference 521.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)
MKs and journalists received a call on Tuesday purportedly from Hamas spokesman
Ribhi Rantisi, telling them that Army Radio should not be closed, out of concern
for free speech.
The call was actually pre-recorded by My Israel, an
organization that, among other things, advocates closing the IDF’s radio
station, because its hosts interview Hamas members. A member of the NGO
telephoned Rantisi, claiming he was a representative of Army Radio, and asked
him to pledge his support for the station.
“Hello, this is Ribhi Rantisi
the Hamas activist in Gaza,” the voice calling from a Palestinian area code told
the lawmakers and reporters. “I call for members of the Knesset Economics
Committee to allow Army Radio to have freedom of expression.
interviewed on Army Radio, and they give me freedom of speech, and I think this
should continue,” the voice on the phone continued, calling the IDF station
“everyone’s home,” perhaps a play on the station’s slogan, “The home of the
MK Eitan Cabel (Labor) said he expects that “whoever sent out
this criminal message will reveal himself and not hide behind a
“A dangerous line has been crossed,” Cabel said.
Israel director Ayelet Shaked said that “it is absurd and painful that fighters
and officers see their military radio station as hostile, while terrorists come
to its defense.”
Three weeks ago, the Knesset voted approved the Army
Radio Bill in its first reading. The measure would allow the radio station to
continue its activities for another year and broadcast messages from
Next week, the Knesset Economics Committee plans to prepare the
law for its second and third (final) readings in the plenum.
called on the Knesset Economics Committee “not to extend the law... unless there
is a real revolution in the station.”