December 14, 2005 | Press Release

France OKs Terrorist TV

Statement of Avi Jorisch, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and author of Beacon of Hatred, Inside Hizballah's Al-Manar Television, on France's decision to permit al-Manar to broadcast in the European Union:

“France's decision to authorize al-Manar, the television broadcast of a worldwide terrorist organization that has killed hundreds of Americans, is a surrender in the war on terrorism.  Al-Manar calls for Jihadists to slaughter U.S. troops on Iraq. Al-Manar incites violence with the kind of crude propaganda not seen since Nazi Germany.  Asking al-Manar to refrain from preaching hate is like paroling Charles Manson on the promise of good behavior.  It has no business being on the air.”

To read about France's decision to broadcast al-Manar, please click here.

Avi Jorisch is available to discuss al-Manar and what needs to be done to stop it from spreading hatred across the globe.  To schedule an interview, please contact Bill McCarthy at (202) 207-0183 (w) (703) 402-2886 (c) or [email protected].

Highlights from Beacon of Hatred, Inside Hizballah's Al-Manar Television (to see a power point presentation on al-Manar, please click here): 

Inciting Violence against Americans:

  • Sample Video clips are available here.
  • Al-Manar programming has called on Jihadis to kill American soldiers in Iraq.  One video proclaims:  “Down with the mother of terrorism! America threatens in vain, an occupying army of invaders. Nothing remains but rifles and suicide bombers” The video ends with an image of a suicide bomber's belt detonating. 
  • In one al-Manar video, the Statue of Liberty transforms into a knife-wielding ghoul drenched in blood.
  • Another compares the United States to Nazi Germany and ends with a split screen of President George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler. 
  • Hizballah's leader Hassan Nasrallah uses al-Manar to denounce America as the “Great Satan” and a “beast that is hungry for power and hungry for blood.” 

Hizballah's Trail of Terror:

  • Until the al-Qaeda attacks of September 11, Hizballah had killed more Americans than any other terrorist organization. 
  • Hizballah was behind the 1983 suicide bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon that claimed 241 American lives. 
  • Hizballah was involved in the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 587 during which a U.S. Navy diver was executed. 
  • Hizballah has been linked to the 1996 attack against the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 Americans and wounded hundreds more. 
  • U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage puts Hizoballah on the “A-list” of terrorist organizations. 

Why is al-Manar tolerated?

  • Al Manar maintains a Bureau Chief in Washington, D.C.  It also has correspondents in France, Russia, Belgium, Sweden, Iraq and other nations. 
  • A U.S.-based satellite company, Telestar 5, carries al-Manar broadcasts, and U.S.-based Internet companies host its websites. 
  • Al-Manar receives advertising from global companies.  Until recently, al-Manar even had American sponsors. 
  • Al-Manar raises money for Hizballah on its broadcasts – viewers in the past have been directed to four Lebanese banks to make their contributions. 

About the Author:

Avi Jorisch is a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.  During the two years he spent researching the book, Avi traveled to Lebanon to interview al-Manar's manager, producers, and others familiar with its operations.  He analyzed hundreds of hours of al-Manar broadcasts.  And he documented the station's explosive growth from a mom and pop broadcaster to a global media player.  He is a former Soref Fellow at the Washington Institute and a former terrorism consultant to the Department of Defense.  Beacon of Hatred, Inside Hizballah's Al-Manar Television was published by the Washington Institute in November, 2004.

Note: Under pressure, France reversed its decision on December 13, 2004, and banned al-Manar from the Eutelsat satellite provider.  To read more, please click here.