Christian TV to be dropped in Israel

Israeli cable television is planning to drop a major Christian TV network which runs missionary advertisements directed at Jews, prompting threats of legal action by the station's representatives.

Christian TV to be dropped in Israel

Israeli cable television is planning to drop a major Christian TV network which runs missionary advertisements directed at Jews, prompting threats of legal action by the station's representatives.

The Jerusalem Post said the decision by the Hot Cable TV to halt the broadcasts of the US Daystar TV network is awaiting approval from the Israeli Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting.

A spokeswoman for the HOT cable company said in a statement that the decision to stop the station from broadcasting in Israel was made "out of editorial and content considerations," after complaints the company received.

A lawyer for the Dallas-based Christian station said that the decision to take the network off the air was a violation of freedom of expression.

"You cannot close down this station just because it is a Christian station," said attorney Amir Witkon.

Witkon said that he would take legal action against HOT in an Israeli court if the decision was approved.

The Israeli Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting, which can rule on the cable company's request, will take up the issue at its next meeting. The council is expected to meet next month.

The station, which has been on the air in Israel since last year, is also broadcast on Israeli satellite TV, which has not asked to drop the station.

The Daystar TV network, which is part of the basic cable program on both HOT and YES, broadcasts a medley of Biblical teachings from the New Testament. It also airs 15-minute infomercials from the "Jewish Voice Ministries International" targetting a Jewish audience with the message of Jesus.

The Christian TV Network has 128 million viewers in the US, including 60 million viewers on cable and satellite homes, and is now available in more than 200 countries around the world.

The Phoenix-based Jewish Voice Ministries International, which puts out the controversial advertisements directed at Jews, calls itself "a worldwide outreach that is dedicated to bringing the Gospel of Jesus to the Jew first and also to the Gentile throughout the world," according to its Web site.

The Chairman of the Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting Yoram Mokady has said that there were very clear regulations for religious programming, including misinformation, frightening programming and programs directed at minors but that there were no guidelines for missionary activity.

The broadcasts have been condemned by anti-missionary activists in Israel, who have long been wary of any connection with Christians, including Christian Zionists in Israel.

Many believe the controversy underscores the delicate balancing act between the Jewish state and evangelical Christians who believe that the return of the Jews to the Holy Land is foretold in the Scriptures and heralds the return of the Messiah.

AKI

Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Temmuz 2007, 00:59
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