Australia's Parliament and mainstream media may not differ all that much from other western countries when it comes to chronic groveling to its Zionist lobby. But like citizens in many countries, Australians sometimes courageously exhibit admirable independence and respect for their society's own values.
On December 10, 2010, whether by design or coincidence, International Human Rights Day, Australia's Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) released its much anticipated decision on whether to ban Lebanon's Al Manar TV channel from
being broadcast down-under via the Indonesian PT Indosat satellite (Palapa D) that was launched on 12/27/09.
As in the US, which does ban Al Manar, the popular station's programming would, even if banned, still be available via internet live streaming.
Al Manar (The Beacon), affiliated with the Lebanese political party, social service organization and resistance movement Hezbollah, has been the target of an intensive Israel ordered international media assault for several years.
Silvan Shalom, former Israeli Foreign Minister, at a 2004 Herzliya Convention, outlined his government's policy succinctly:
"The Israeli Foreign Ministry intends to work actively to have Al Manar banned in other countriesThe Arabic-language station, started in 1991, has twice been banned in Australia, but was cleared by ACMA in 2009 and now again in 2010.
around the globe. It is Israel's intention to bring the seriousness of Al-Manar's broadcasts
to the attention of the international community and toconvince them to prevent Al-Manar from
operating in as many countries as possible."
HOW ACMA ARRIVED AT THIS DECISION
To its credit, Australia's media watchdog agency took its work seriously and, more than once, resisted being railroaded by "Israel first' groups. ACMA's mandate was to address community concerns by aiming to prevent the broadcast of
programs that directly attempt to recruit people, or solicit funds, for listed terrorist organizations.
Specifically ACMA wanted to know if Al Manar, via its programming, "directly recruited persons to join, or participate in, the activities of a listed terrorist organization; or solicited for or assisted in the collection or provision of funds for a listed terrorist organization."
To determine this, ACMA translated, watched and carefully analyzed popular Al Manar program including the following:
* 26 December 2009, 8th day of Ashura: Speech given by the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah.
* 25 December 2009, 7th day of Ashura: Speech given by the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah.
* 15 December 2009, Advertisement: Donation for al-Emdad Charity.
* 15 December 2009, Interstitial: Our Dignity is Attributed to Martyrdom. (Message to resistance fighters)
* 15 December 2009, Interstitial: Martyr memorial of Jihad Malek Hammoud.
* 1 December 2009, Manifesto speech: We Want Lebanon Strong and United. Speech given by the Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah.