Photo Credit: Paul Keller
The al jazeera English language newsroom at the channel’s broadcast center in Doha, Qatar, October 25, 2010.

Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi on Wednesday said in response to a proposal regarding the closure of the Al-Jazeera channel in Israel that, “The Prime Minister has given the order to carry out a legal security process to limit the channel’s broadcasts, we are determined to continue the process until its completion.”

The communications ministry has already announced that “The closure of the Al Jazeera network in Israel comes after the presentation of evidence that it assists the enemy, broadcasts propaganda in the service of Hamas in Arabic and English to viewers all over the world, and even transmits sensitive information to the enemy.”


The move will be executed under the emergency regulations for the closure of broadcasters that harm the security of the state. The plan was submitted by Minister Karhi with the endorsement of AG Gali Baharav-Miara. When carried out, the new regulations will allow the Al Jazeera broadcasts to be stopped, the channel’s offices in Israel closed, and its equipment seized.

Anyone needs an Arabic-language copy of the Protocols? Mein Kampf? No one?

According to Karhi, “Everything is ready. To limit the channel’s broadcasts, it is necessary to comply with the conditions detailed in the emergency regulations, and among other things, the defense minister is convinced, based on the views of security officials, that Al Jazeera’s broadcasts do in fact harm state security.”

The Knesset plenum approved transferring the debate on the proposal to end Al Jazeera’s broadcasts in Israel to the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, chaired by Likud MK Yuli Edelstein.

Israel Beiteinu MK Oded Forer, who initiated Wednesday’s plenum debate, said, “The war in recent weeks in Gaza illustrated the need to close the channel. It should also be noted that we suffer from antisemitism; this channel broadcasts in Arabic and English, and they are currently marking Jewish homes in France. The closing of this channel should be done today and without delay.”

OK, perhaps not the most coherent ending there, but it’ll do (it hasn’t been established that it was Al Jazeera painting those blue stars of David in Paris).

To date, Saudi Arabia and the UAE blocked Al Jazeera websites; Saudi Arabia closed Al Jazeera’s bureau in Riyadh and halted its operating license, accusing the network of promoting “terrorist groups” in the region; and Jordan also revoked Al Jazeera’s license.


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