Michigan Public Radio Won’t Say “Happy Birthday Israel”


A Michigan radio station refused to broadcast a “Happy 68thth Birthday Israel” message because it was too political, according to the Deadline Detroit news outlet.

Lisa Lis was entitled to have a message read on air six times during a day’s broadcast after donating at least $365 to Michigan Radio, a statewide public radio group operated by the University of Michigan.

But the birthday greetings to Israel could not be accomodated. Alison Warren, associate director of development, explained why in an April 26 email to Lis:

“We will not be able to air your day sponsorship message as written.

“We have determined that this message would compromise the station’s commitment to impartiality and that it crosses over into advocacy, or could imply advocacy.

“If there is another message, perhaps celebrating a birthday or anniversary of an individual, please let me know and I’d be happy to assist you,” Warren wrote.

“I’m very upset,” said Lis, whose husband is Israeli and whose son serves in the IDF. “It’s sad. There’s plenty of anti-Israel messages out there, and they won’t allow something for Israel.”