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Radical TV funded by Iran

March 3, 2011

Elder of Ziyon wrote on Feb. 25:

Islamic Jihad mouthpiece Palestine Today will introduce a 24-hour satellite channel tonight, after a successful trial run for the past three months.

It will be available on Nilesat and Arabsat…

I smell Iranian money.

EoZ may well be right that money from Iran is behind the launch of the new jihadi cable channel considering the precedence for the expansion of Iranian-backed media around the world.  In October last year, IsraelSeen.com detailed the international growth of Iranian-backed broadcasts (which follows below with internal citations omitted).  If Palestine Today will be anything like Hezbollah’s “news channel” Al-Manar, that suggests funding would come not just from the Iranian government, but from private zakat donors and from mindless corporate advertisers.  Read it all:

JERUSALEM, Oct. 2010 – Press TV, Iran’s first English-language media venture launched in 2007 by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), is stepping up its international operations with a round-the-clock Spanish-language channel and iFilm, which broadcasts Iranian movies and TV to about 300 million Arabic-speakers in the Arab world.

Whereas the government-backed Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) overtly supports Hezbollah,  Press TV’s content is more subtle. Programs are centered on U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East, particularly Israel and the Palestinians. It also has a sister company, Atlantic Television News, based in Denmark and with an office in downtown Washington, D.C.

Al-Alam News, Iran’s Arabic-language media outfit, highlights direct statements from Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. References to the U.S-Israel relationship are frequent, particularly those questioning the two countries’ ties.

Iran-backed Hezbollah’s News long-established channel, Al-Manar, stresses its ties to Iran and its support for attacks against Israel. Al-Manar was launched in 1991 and is a mass media outlet, calling itself the “station of resistance” against Israel.

Al-Manar is the preferred outlet for Palestinian groups claiming responsibility for terrorist attacks against Israelis. It is a popular Lebanese news site that broadcasts images of Hezbollah fighters in addition to glorifying attacks on Israel. The United States and Germany banned the station due to its incitement of terrorist activity.

A bill approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and slated for a vote by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, directs President Obama “to transmit to Congress a report on anti-American incitement to violence in the Middle East, and for other purposes.” The bill targets news agencies such as Hezbollah’s Al-Manar.

Al-Manar also promotes Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a friend of Lebanon and touts his upcoming visit to Lebanon on Oct. 13-14.

Al-Manar’s Web site states, “The visit is the first of its kind, and therefore is exceptional and significant. That’s why Hezbollah and AMAL movement called on Lebanese for wide participation in the reception of the ‘great guest’…Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon has garnered full official interest on the country’s internal scene as Prime Minister Saad Hariri is expected to hold a luncheon banquet in his honor.”

Al-Manar studios are located in Beirut’s Hezbollah-controlled southern suburb, Harat Hurayk. The poor, conservative, Shi’ite neighborhood takes direction from Nasrallah. As opposed to other Lebanese news stations closed down for violation of Lebanon’s law against propaganda, Al-Manar enjoys the tacit support of Beirut and Damascus in addition to Tehran.

Muslim communities in Europe, Canada, and the United States provide funding through large donations to Al-Manar. They also appeal for donations and solicit funds under Hezbollah’s name as well as “The Intifada in Occupied Palestine Fund,” “The Palestine Uprising” and “The Resistance Information Donation Fund.” In 2004, reports revealed most of the male reporters were guerrilla fighters before joining Al-Manar.

Al-Manar also has corporate advertisers. In order to circumvent advertising that is religiously suspect, Al-Manar set up its own advertising company—Media Public Management—which has worked with 35 advertising firms, including Britain’s Saatchi and Saatchi. European and Western companies continue to advertise on Al-Manar.

Funding also comes from Hezbollah’s business ventures located in Beirut, south Lebanon, and the Bekaa Valley. Enterprises include heavy machinery and drug trafficking.

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