Gov't says Al-Aksa programs “incite hatred or violence for reasons of religion or nationality.”
By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
BERLIN – France became the first European government on Wednesday to order the French-owned satellite station Eutelsat to stop its broadcast of the Hamas Al-Aksa program because of violations against European anti-hate laws. Al-Aksa programs “incite hatred or violence for reasons of religion or nationality,” said French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero.Al-Aksa TV has produced a children’s show with a warlike Mickey Mouse character urging children to wage holy war against the US and Israel. In March, the US Treasury Department designated Al-Aksa a “global terrorist entity.”Alexander Ritzmann, a senior terrorism analyst from the European Foundation for Democracy (EFD), which played a key role in convincing French authorities to shut down Al-Aksa’s operation, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that the ban on Al-Aksa “is the first important step. The next step is to cease Al-Aksa broadcasts from Arabsat (Arab Satellite Communications Organization).“There can be no doubt: These broadcasts radicalize its viewers and putEuropean citizens – particularly of a young age – at risk,” saidRitzmann. “Al-Aksa TV continues to be available in Europe via Arabsat,whose largest shareholder is the government of Saudi Arabia. Europeangovernments and citizens should also demand that Arabsat drop Al-AksaTV from its offering.”The Coalition Against Terrorist Media (CATM), a broad-based groupmonitoring terrorist-funded media, welcomed the French decision.Said Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Foundation for Defense ofDemocracies, which founded the coalition in 2004: “Taking Al-Aksa TVoff the air demonstrates that incitement to violence and support ofterrorism will not be tolerated in Europe."
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