No right to perform on Army Radio

Thankfully, right, and not wrong, won this week, and Izhar Ashdot was not allowed to perform on Army Radio.

October 21, 2012 22:01
3 minute read.
Izhar Ashdot

Izhar Ashdot 370. (photo credit: Noa Cafri / Wikimedia)


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Last week singer Izhar Ashdot was scheduled to appear on Army Radio, the IDF radio station. In his new song, Ashdot comes out against Israeli soldiers, singing, “In their heart is only hate, evil intention and darkness...they learn to instill to kill – it’s just a matter of habit.”

When I found out about this, I posted on Facebook in various groups, informing people about what was about to happen, and imploring them to take action and protest against this. I was naïve enough to believe that everyone would want to speak out against this. I mean, a man who publicly calls soldiers murderers is about to perform on the station dedicated to those very soldiers he is calling murderers – it’s laughable.

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Unfortunately, I was mistaken. My posts were attacked by numerous people, crying out about democracy, freedom of speech, and how we, as a democratic country, must let this man perform.

First and foremost, that argument holds absolutely no water. Army Radio is a state-owned station, and is well within its rights to take the position that a person who comes out criticizing their values has no business being on their station.

If Ashdot wants to perform on a privately owned station, he is well within his rights, but not Army Radio. Imagine a singer coming on the American Forces Network, the network of the American army, and calling American soldiers murderers – there is no way that would be permitted, it’s absurd! The fact of the matter is there is such a fundamental flaw with their arguments that there must be something else going on here – and that is the lack of values and national pride.

How can people legitimize a man who calls the very soldiers protecting him murderers? What happened to our values that we can let such a thing happen? People must stop taking the ideas of democracy and free speech to the extreme, misinterpreting them to justify unjust actions, and start returning to the idea of national pride, that we the Jewish people have a right to be here, and will apologize to no one.

True, everyone has the right to express their views in the proper setting (a state-owned station not being one of them), but does that mean that we should be silent? Does that mean that we don’t have the same right to stand up against this man and say, “No, we the people will not tolerate this blatant obscenity.”

The second people say “he has the right to be heard,” they grant legitimacy to a man and a claim that deserve none, regardless of whether they are against this man and everything he stands for. This is playing into the hands of our enemies who have realized that they cannot defeat Israel through military strength or terror, and so have turned to the sadly effective strategy of delegitimization. When we allow a man who calls soldiers murderers to appear on our radio stations, we are giving legitimacy to his statement, and essentially deeming it to be politically correct.

The bottom line is, we are fighting an ongoing war – a war of delegitimization that has penetrated deep into Israel, warping people’s minds into misunderstanding the difference between right and wrong. Allowing a man to perform a song calling soldiers murderers on Army Radio is wrong.

When a soldier who is on his way out to do a 72-hour patrol turns on his radio and hears about how he “murders” people, that is wrong. Thankfully, right, and not wrong, won this week, and Izhar Ashdot was not allowed to perform on Army Radio. Let this achievement be there first of many, while we continue to stand up for our national values and pride.

The writer is the head of Im Tirzu at Bar- Ilan University.

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