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Bid to block Hezbollah TV

Last updated: 2004-02-23

Satellite dish

Satellite dish

The Director General of the Board of Deputies, Neville Nagler, has written to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Tessa Jowell, to ask her to clarify her powers to block satellite broadcasts of antisemitic incitement from outside the UK.

This follows confirmation by her department that Al Manar, Hezbollah's TV station, is available in the UK to anyone with a satellite dish of 90cm or greater.

Informing Tessa Jowell of the shocking content of "al-Shataat" (The Diaspora), broadcast through Al Manar, Neville Nagler enclosed his recent correspondence with the Foreign Secretary, who had written saying that "I share your disgust". He had also instructed the British Ambassadors in both Damascus and Beirut to make formal representations to their host governments, expressing the British government's "repulsion".

Neville Nagler highlighted the French government's recently announced plans to introduce legislation against such broadcasts, which were in clear breach of the criminal law.

Commenting on this issue, Neville Nagler said: "This series is grossly antisemitic and incites racial hatred by its obscene portrayal of the blood libel against Jews and by repeating the lies of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Antisemitism is unacceptable wherever it is being spread and wherever it emanates from. The government have in the past refused entry to individuals who are likely to stir up racial hatred. We expect the government to ensure that such views cannot enter by satellite TV."