Why is the Israeli government so scared of efforts to promote Israeli-Palestinian dialogue they can’t control? Take the case of Radio All for Peace (hear its audio stream) , a fledgling radio station created by Biladi, the Palestinian publisher of the Jerusalem Times and Givat Haviva, an Israeli group promoting dialogue between the two warring peoples. They created a radio station based in East Jerusalem with both Israeli and Palestinian programmers and disc jockeys. They play Israeli and Palestinian music, broadcast public affairs programs in both languages and generally reach out to each community.
This is unheard of in Mideast media. Israeli radio plays a single Arab-language program each week and I don’t believe Palestinian radio ever broadcasts in Hebrew (correct me if I’m wrong). If this doesn’t sound revolutionary to you, consider that there has been so much estrangement between them for so long that even a project like this is considered dangerous and threatening by petty government bureaucrats.
That’s why the Israelis refused to allow into the country All for Peace’s radio transmitter which had been donated by the EU. The station was told it needed the proper permit and license for the equipment. But of course the apparatchiks refused to approve applications made by All for Peace. Finally, the group bought its own transmitter and is now on the air.
Isn’t it delicious when the bureaucrats are beaten at their own game? Mazel tov, All for Peace and happy listening to all my readers.