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AIJAC welcomes latest ACMA report on al-Manar as significant step forward

Dec 10, 2010

AIJAC welcomes latest ACMA report on al-Manar as significant step forward

10 December 2010

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on Thursday released its latest report into whether Hezbollah-affiliated satellite television station al-Manar has breached Australia’s antiterrorist standards or broadcasting codes.

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) has welcomed ACMA’s finding that al-Manar breached Australia’s broadcasting codes in regards to racism. “Anti-Jewish hatred on al-Manar has long been a feature of the station,” said AIJAC Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein. “Recognition of this issue, which ACMA did not look into in its previous investigation, is to be commended.”

“AIJAC further welcomes the acknowledgement by ACMA that the existing community safeguards against media outlets which support terrorism are not strong enough,” said AIJAC National Chairman Mark Leibler. “ACMA’s suggested reforms of these safeguards are therefore a positive step.” Unfortunately, the ACMA investigation and findings were still disappointing in some respects, he added.

“AIJAC is concerned that ACMA apparently ignored evidence that advertisements of a particular charity, al-Emdad, which is a front for Hezbollah, breach the Anti-Terrorism Standards,” said Mr. Leibler.

AIJAC’s view that al-Manar should be banned in Australia because it is owned and operated by the terrorist organisation Hezbollah has not changed. “Al-Manar’s raison d’être is to radicalise Muslims around the world – including in Australia – to support Hezbollah’s terrorist methods and goals,” said Dr. Rubenstein. “AIJAC believes any media organisation owned and/or operated by any banned terrorist organisation should also be banned in Australia and the federal government should take appropriate measures to bring this about.”

“We also hope and expect that, given their common interest in preventing incitement to terrorism and extremism, Australian and Indonesian authorities will be liaising to address the continued import of al-Manar into both countries via Indosat,” he added.

 

For further information, contact Dr. Colin Rubenstein or Mark Leibler on 03 9681 6660 or aijac@aijac.org.au.

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