Israeli Broadcaster Fined for Refusing Coverage of Reform Groups

YERUSHALAYIM -
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(Hadas Parush/Flash90)

An Israeli broadcaster has been fined by an industry organization for refusing to interview representatives of the Reform and Conservative movements, Arutz Sheva reported on Tuesday.

Channel 20 incurred a penalty of NIS 100,800 ($27,975.91) in a ruling of Israel’s Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting (CCSB), which insists that all “streams” of Judaism must be represented in its programming as the Jewish Heritage Channel.

CCSB Chairman Dr. Ben Chai Segev wrote in the decision that “exclusion of different groups from the channel’s broadcasts violates the license, which obligates the channel to give expression to various streams in the public. Channel 20, as the Israeli heritage channel, should reflect all the voices and shades in Israeli society.”

Channel 20 has consistently maintained that it is not obligated to cover the Reform and Conservative because they exist outside traditional Judaism.

“We hereby state categorically that we don’t think Channel 20 should present attempts to divide and split the people of Israel,” Channel 20 said in a statement. “There are fake Rolex watches and Adidas shoes all over the world. Let’s not counterfeit Judaism, let’s not divide the Wall.

“If one can’t divide Jerusalem, and one can’t, than surely the Western Wall plaza can’t be divided. That’s the beginning of the end. If our license is revoked, then let it be so. The integrity of the Jewish people and of the Wall plaza are much more important and larger than anything else, even us.”

Eral Segal, a host on the network, recently blasted Reform leader Rich Jacobs, saying: “Thank you for coming to Israel, to the people who watch over your house so you can throw stones at it.”