This weekend the Kol Hashalom, or Whole Peace, radio station based in the West Bank was shut down by Israeli authorities under the claim that it was an illegal radio station operating without proper licensing by the Israeli government.
To examine how this story is unfolding, I looked at two news sources: the International Middle East Media Center (http://www.imemc.org/article/62531) and Arutz Sheva (http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/149904#.Tsmv7HOaBz0). The IMEMC story was written on Nov. 20, and the Arutz Sheva story was written on Nov. 19.
Each story was framed for its particular target audience. IMEMC is a pro-Palestinian source, and that shows in its framing of the story. It called the station a “peace radio” that was a “joint” collaboration to “bring together” the Palestinians and Israelis. To contrast, Arutz Sheva, which claims to be Israel’s No. 1 news site, is a pro-Zionist/anti-Palestinian source, and their story framed the station as “illegal” and “ultra-leftist.” Neither of the sources were wholly objective, but the IMEMC seemed more objective than Arutz Sheva.
The IMEMC story portrayed the radio station as an outlet that was trying to bring Israelis and Palestinians closer together. The Arutz Sheva story focused on demonizing the station and one of the station’s co-managers, Mossi Roz. It even included an unflatteringly image of him. To contrast, IMEMC’s image was the Kol Hashalom logo.
One difference I saw in the stories was that the IMEMC said Israeli officials shut down the station because it was a pirate radio and needed an Israeli operating license. But Arutz Sheva reported that the anti-Zionist content was a much bigger issue in shutting down the station than the legality of it.
The information is seemingly accurate in both stories. The IMEMC story uses legitimate sources for its information such as the Israeli Communications Ministry and Israeli Knesset members. The Arutz Sheva story is also accurate and relatively believable. Some of the claims though are not attributed and thus not as believable. For example, there is no attribution for the radio station being anti-Zionist.
Shutting down the radio is limiting the freedom of speech allowed to Palestinians. The Israeli government saw this outlet as a threat. They wanted to shut it down based more on the content than the legality. Why would it matter that a West Bank operation has an Israeli radio license? It doesn’t. The Israeli government is censoring media and denying Palestinians a media outlet.
Both sources made valid points against the other though. Arutz Sheva brought up that one of the broadcasters expressed “sorrow” in 2010 that the Intifada ended. That is a terrible comment for anyone to make. However, I believe that one broadcaster should not be the sole representation of a radio station as a whole. As far as objective reporting goes, I think the IMEMC reporter did a better job telling the story by giving an honest statement of the facts whereas the Arutz Sheva reporter was too one-sided.