Gush Shalom asks High Court to prevent settler radio station from broadcasting in Israel

The Gush Shalom peace movement filed a petition with the High Court of Justice on Wednesday, asking the court to prevent a settler far-right West Bank radio station from broadcasting in the State of Israel. According to Gush Shalom, the “Galei Israel” (Israel Waves) radio station only has a license to broadcast to “Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria.”

However, in the petition, attorneys Gabi Lasky and Limor Goldstein for Gush Shalom claim that “Galei Israel,” whose studios are based in the Givat Ze’ev settlement northwest of Jerusalem, is also broadcasting on two additional transmission frequencies, in the Dan region of central Israel and in the south of the country. The petitioners argue that the the Second Authority for Television and Radio in the West Bank, which granted “Galei Israel” its broadcasting franchise, has no authority to permit the station to broadcast outside the West Bank.

“Galei Israel” studio (Photo: Amsgula)

The IDF Central Command in the West Bank established the regional branch of the Second Authority for Television and Radio in 2008, in the wake of a previous High Court petition by Gush Shalom. The body is responsible for radio broadcast licenses in occupied Palestinian territories, and Gush Shalom contends that the military command has no authority to grant broadcasting rights in Israel.

In the petition, Gush Shalom also argues that granting “Galei Israel” FM frequencies outside the West Bank blurs the boundaries between the sovereign State of Israel and the occupied territories where military rule applies.

The petitioners ask the court to stop this attempt to create a nationwide ideological radio station without public debate and without an explicit decision by the legislature, via technical means and by a blatant disregard of the law. After filing the petition on Wednesday, Gush Shalom spokesman Adam Keller compared the pro-settler radio station with the Migron outpost.

“Just like the ‘Migron affair’ put facts on the ground, this time facts are being put on the air,” he said. Keller said that the settler movement and their supporters were “getting a nationwide ideological radio station to create propaganda for their extremist viewpoints, irrespective of considerations of free competition and without proving an equal opportunity for the peace camp.”