Brouhaha over Al-Manar

It’s amazing to me to hear outrage in the U.S. over Germany’s decision to block Al-Manar TV. Al-Manar is a Beirut-based TV station considered the “mouthpiece of Hezbollah” (media’s words, not mine). It is also banned in the United States, hence my surprise (another point of surprise comes from intelligent liberals who are arguing for the reinstatement of Al-Manar but couldn’t care less about Al Jazeera!)

My favorite quote from that article is this one, from European Foundation for Democracy executive director Robert Bonazzi: “The German government has taken an important step in contributing to European efforts to counter the spread of radicalization and violent ideologies.”

Wow, how nice of the German government! While I’m no lover of Hezbollah, I’ve got to wonder what made Germany decide that Hezbollah is the radical and violent organization and not Israel. I suppose they went with what’s fashionable.

5 replies on “Brouhaha over Al-Manar”

In Germany you don’t criticize Israel. Or you’ll get slapped in the face by the Central Council of Jews in Germany (Zentralrat der Juden in Deutschland). And that hurts your image quite badly.

Germany has a major problem with criticizing Israel due to its history. And that won’t change in the near future.

(If you wanted to ban everything bad in the world, you would have to ban everything. Even the Dalai Lama has enemies. That’s why I am against censorship even when it comes to those sites which make me want to go out and kill some nazis).

I think the situation in Germany is a bit different from the US. There are not as many Jewish politicians as in America (I think there are even more Muslims in parliament). In fact, the problem with criticizing Israel evolves from the media. Germany’s most important newspaper BILD (yellow press of course) is 100% pro-Israel and many other media outlets too are giving a voice to Jewish intellectuals or people from the Central Council. That multiplies their reach and importance, marginalizing their opponents.
There are of course voices critical of Israel, and they are heard, but usually Germans (esp. the older generations) tend to be pro-Israel because of history rather. Always buckling down to be forgiven our past. That’s typically German.

The CRIF was angered by al-Manar’s programming, much of which contained harsh anti-Semitic programs, documentaries with gross historical inaccuracies in which Jews were depicted killing Jews who converted to Christianity; Jews drinking the blood of Christian children; and a rabbi pouring hot lead down a man’s throat, according to French officials who monitored the Lebanese network.

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