November 13, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Moves Against Pro-Hezbollah TV Station’s Local Operations 

November 13, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Moves Against Pro-Hezbollah TV Station’s Local Operations 

Latest Developments 

Israel on November 13 approved a crackdown on the local operations of a pro-Hezbollah TV station that has been inciting against it during the Gaza war. The decision against al Mayadeen empowered Israel’s Communications Ministry to block access to the Lebanon-based channel’s website. Likewise, it empowered police to seize the station’s assets. The measures may also be implemented in Palestinian areas of the West Bank. Though not formally accredited, an Israeli Arab woman has been working for al Mayadeen in Israel, broadcasting stories favorable to Hamas and other Palestinian terrorists. 

The security cabinet statement on the new emergency regulations for media described al Mayadeen as a Hezbollah mouthpiece working to promote Israel’s enemies. While the regulation could be applied to other stations, the statement made no mention of Al Jazeera, which Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi accused last month of pro-Hamas reporting and endangering Israeli soldiers in the field. 

Expert Analysis 

“Such are the liberal standards of Israel that, astonishingly, a station serving one of its worst enemies, and based in a country with which it is at war, has been able to operate within its territory until now. The crackdown on al Mayadeen is long overdue. It would appear that the Netanyahu government is sparing Al Jazeera, however, given Israeli and U.S. reliance on Qatari mediation to free hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. It may be an understandable Faustian bargain for now, but eventually, Israel and the rest of the West will need to confront Qatar’s malign global influence, which is publicly manifested through Al Jazeera.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO 

“There is conceptual precedent for barring al Mayadeen. In 2006, the United States designated al Manar TV as a terrorist entity, which it found was owned and operated by Hezbollah. Washington rightly regarded al Manar in the same way it regards Hezbollah and denied it the privileges accorded to media entities. Europe and Arab countries followed suit, understanding incitement to violence was a national security issue, not a free speech issue.” — Toby Dershowitz, Managing Director of FDD Action 

U.S. Sanctions Terrorist Media 

While the United States has not sanctioned al Mayadeen, it has designated other terrorist media. In 2006, the George W. Bush administration sanctioned al Manar, which is controlled and operated by Hezbollah and broadcasts both subtle and overt incitement to violence against Israel. “Any entity maintained by a terrorist group whether masquerading as a charity, a business, or a media outlet is as culpable as the terrorist group itself,” said Stuart Levey, then Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. In 2010, the Obama administration sanctioned Al-Aqsa Television, a station in Gaza financed and controlled by Hamas. 

Israel Deepens Lebanon Strikes as Hezbollah Rattles Saber,” FDD Flash Brief 

Hezbollah Attempts Anti-Tank Missile Attack From Lebanon,” FDD Flash Brief 

The Hezbollah Two-Step,” by Jonathan Schanzer 

Nasrallah’s Big Speech,” by Jonathan Schanzer 


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