Israel’s Broadcasting Authority muzzles ad that supports peace negotiations

Why is it that just the mere mention of diplomatic negotiations (which is for the most part all we have right now) induces a profound panic among so many who say they care about Israelis or Palestinians? Really?
A new coalition of “politicians, billionaires and [Christian] evangelists“, which boasts support from people like Bibi Netanyahu, John Bolton and America congressman Eric Cantor, is fighting against what they call the threatened “division” of Jerusalem. (As MJ Rosenberg has written so eloquently, there is no plan to divide Jerusalem, and this fear-mongering language is being used by right-wingers to torpedo peace negotiations that might, G-d forbid, lead to Israel having to relinquish settlements and land.)

Hat tip to Eitan Isaacson for pointing out that Ha’aretz is reporting, in the Hebrew language edition only, that Kol Ysirael, Israel’s gov’t radio, is running an ad by this group that opposes “dividing” Jerusalem, but is refusing to run an ad by the Geneva Initiative folks calling for peace negotiations.

Thanks to Eitan and Sydney Levy for this rough translation of the original.

KOL YISRAEL AUTHORIZES A RADIO AD OPPOSING THE DIVISION OF JERUSALEM,
BUT REJECTED AN AD THAT CALLS FOR NEGOTIATIONS

The given reason for rejecting the ad by the Geneva Initiative: “It is
politically controversial”; The Geneva Initiative demands to either
broadcast their ad, or to disqualify the “One Jerusalem” ad.

By Assaf Karmel

Kol Yisrael, Israel Broadcasting Authority’s radio network, rejected a
radio ad from the Geneva Initiative with the claim that it is
politically controversial. Nonetheless, Kol Yisrael is currently
broadcasting an ad of the “One Jerusalem” fund that opposes the
splitting of the city.

The “One Jerusalem” ad goes as follows: “Every nation has a capitol that
is exclusively theirs. The French have Paris, the English have London,
and we have a unified and liberated Jerusalem. Above all places -
Jerusalem, above all disagreements – Jerusalem, above all generations -
Jerusalem. This is the time to visit and to swear allegiance to
Jerusalem, this is the time to tie a knot with a golden ribbon and to
identify with Jerusalem”.

In light of this ad the Geneva Initiative decided to prepare an ad with
a similar format: “Every nation has a capitol that is exclusively
theirs. The French have Paris, the English have London, the Palestinians
have East Jerusalem, and we have Jerusalem that is more Jewish and
larger than ever. Above all places – Jerusalem, above all disagreements
- Jerusalem, above all generations – Jerusalem. This is the time to
bring peace to Jerusalem and to agree with our neighbors on a solution
for Jerusalem”.

In an official letter from the advertising department of Kol Yisrael to
the advertising agency that produced the ad the rejection was explained:
“In the sentence: ‘the Palestinians have East Jerusalem’ – this is
factually incorrect. In the sentence: ‘and we have Jerusalem that is
more Jewish and larger than ever’ – need to verify and see if this is
correct. In the sentence ‘and to agree with our neighbors on a solution
for Jerusalem’ – to negotiate about Jerusalem with the Palestinians is
politically controversial”.

In the Geneva Initiative they demand that the ad be broadcast, or
alternatively – disqualify the the ad of One Jerusalem. “A decent
person could not accept the decision that an ad that sides with the
unity of Jerusalem is not politically controversial, while an ad that
calls for partition is,” wrote the Geneva Initiative’s executive
director Gadi Baltianski to the head of the network’s advertising
department’s head Avraham Parchi. “The opposition leader’s message is
legitimate while the message of the vice prime minister is invalid?”
If their query is not answered, the Geneva Initiative threatens to take
legal action. From the Israel Broadcasting Authority is was said that
“The ad was rejected on the grounds of legal advice. Every party has he
option of speaking to an appeals committee”.

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