Israel orders evangelical GOD TV off the air for alleged missionary content
Category: News & PoliticsBy: john-russell • 2 weeks ago • 34 comments
Israel’s media watchdog says it has withdrawn the broadcast license from US-based evangelical network GOD TV, accusing it of seeking to target Jews with Christian content.
International Christian network’s GOD TV launched its Shelanu (Hebrew for “ours”) channel at the end of April on Israeli cable provider Hot, describing it as catering to Christians.
But the channel provoked an immediate outcry in Israel, with then-communications minister David Amsalem accusing it of being a “missionary channel” seeking to convert Jews to Christianity.
The Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council launched an investigation to determine if GOD TV had misrepresented its content when it applied for a license.
Council chairman Asher Bitton says today that following the probe and a hearing, he has informed Hot that Shelanu broadcasts must be removed within seven days.
“The channel is aimed at Jews with Christian content, in contrast to the original broadcast request, which stated it was designated for Christians,” Bitton says in a council statement.
It says that a Christian channel for Jews won’t be automatically disqualified in the future, but that it will have to seek council approval, which Shelanu had not done.
Hot could file a new request for Shelanu that would include “a truthful and detailed” characterization of the channel, the statement adds.
A spokeswoman for Hot says the company is “cooperating with the council and will act in accordance with its decisions on the matter.”
In one promotional clip for Shelanu, GOD TV director Ward Simpson tells viewers, “we’re going to preach the Jewish Jesus to the nation of Israel… they’re going to hear the gospel presented to them in their native tongue.”