Hot decides not to request new license for Evangelical Shelanu TV

Tthe commencement of Shelanu TV's broadcasts sparked criticism when it became clear that its parent organization God TV is dedicated to preaching the Christian gospel.

Television camera of God TV (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA/GTVWEBDEV)
Television camera of God TV
The HOT cable TV provider has declined to request a new license for the Shelanu TV Evangelical channel, after the Council for Cable and Satellite Broadcasting suspended its original license on Sunday.
Shelanu TV, which critics accused of seeking to proselytize Jews, is now left without a cable TV provider in the near future, but says it will move to an internet platform, insisting it will “not be silenced.”
In a statement to the press, Ron Cantor, a spokesman for Shelanu TV and a prominent figure among so-called Messianic Jews in Israel, again denied the allegations made by council chairman Asher Biton that Shelanu TV’s original license request had sought to cover up its intention of appealing to Jewish Israelis.
Cantor noted the license request said its target audience was “men and women of all ages” and that it was “a Christian channel which advances positivity, hope, and a close connection with God.”
It also said that initially Shelanu TV would initially broadcast content not specifically for the Israeli public, but would then gradually integrate “content designated in principle for the Israeli public.”
Cantor said Shelanu TV was now “considering taking legal action against chairman Asher Biton for knowingly deceiving the public in saying that Shelanu’s license, that he himself granted, was to target an audience that was Christian and not Jewish.”
Shelanu TV’s license was granted in April, and the commencement of its broadcasts sparked criticism when it became clear that its parent organization, GOD TV, is dedicated to preaching the Christian gospel and the task of the “Great Commission,” a doctrine in Christian theology to gain disciples for Christianity and to preach the religion to non-Christians.
In a video announcing the new channel, GOD TV CEO Ward Simpson stated, “God has supernaturally opened the door for us to bring the gospel of Jesus into the homes, lives and hearts of his Jewish people.”
He then retracted the video and issued a new statement saying Shelanu TV was not trying to convert Jews, and told The Jerusalem Post his channel was “calling on the Jewish community to reexamine the claim that Yeshua is the Messiah.”
When the council suspended Shelanu TV’s license, it said it could reapply which the channel fully intended to do, and was also prepared to take legal action if that license request was denied on the grounds of freedom of speech and religious practice, since proselytizing activity is legal.
HOT’s decision not to seek a new license means that Shelanu TV will not be broadcasting on Israeli TV for the foreseeable future.
“As Israelis who love our country and know the laws, we will not be silenced,” said Cantor.
“We will continue, in a spirit of love, despite being persecuted by our own government, to be a voice against BDS [the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement] and seek support from Evangelicals all over the world for Israel. We will stand with Israel, even if our government does not stand with us.
“Make no mistake – as Israelis, most of whom have served in the army, pay our taxes and love our country, we are hurt and devastated that our country’s leaders would act against us. But at the same, we are happy that they put pressure on HOT to drop us rather than to take the unprecedented, anti-democratic move of stripping the Messianic Jewish and Christian Arab communities of their freedoms of speech and expression.”