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Israeli Cable Provider to Cancel Christian TV Network

Israeli cable provider HOT may drop a Christian network from its offered channels due to numerous complaints about its missionary content.
By Ze'ev Orenstein
First Publish: 7/23/2007, 12:04 PM

The Israeli cable provider HOT is taking steps to drop a global Christian network from its selection of offered channels as a result of numerous complaints it has received relating to the missionary content aimed at converting Jews in Israel to Christianity.

In order for HOT to move forward with its intention to drop the U.S. based Daystar Television Network, it must gain the approval of the Israeli Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting, which is scheduled to discuss the matter at its upcoming meeting, next month. According to the council’s current chairman, Yoram Mokady, there are presently no regulations in Israel forbidding missionary activity.

Among the offensive content is a 15-minute infomercial by the American Messianic ministry Jewish Voice Ministries International, which HOT representatives said “targets a Jewish audience with the message of Jesus.”

A spokeswoman for the Israeli cable provider HOT said that the decision to discontinue the Daystar Television Network channel was reached "out of editorial and content considerations."

Freedom of Expression or Defending the Jewish Character of State?
Picture: OutreachJudaism.org

In response, Amir Witkon, attorney for Daystar Television Network, said "You cannot close down this station just because it is a Christian station." He added that if the Israeli Council for Cable TV and Satellite Broadcasting authorizes the HOT Cable Company to drop the Daystar Television Network channel, then they would pursue legal action in the Israeli courts to defend their right to freedom of expression.

The Daystar Television Network, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, was founded in 1997 and is headed by Marcus & Joni Lamb. It is the second largest Christian Television Network in the world broadcasting in more than 200 countries and has over 120 million viewers in the United States alone.

Included within the Daystar Television Network’s “Statement of Faith”, one finds, “the only means of being cleansed of sin and receiving the free gift of eternal life is through repentance and faith in the precious shed blood of Jesus... and accepting Him as personal Lord and Savior.”

When the Daystar Television Network first began broadcasting in Israel just over a year ago, Pastor John Hagee, who recently launched, a national grassroots lobby Christians United for Israel which mobilizes Evangelical political support for the Jewish state, remarked that, “It’s just all I can do to keep from getting up and dancing. It’s a joy and it’s a dream come true. If we are able to preach the gospel without reservation [in Israel]... it’s a major breakthrough.”

Rabbi Tovia Singer, Director of Outreach Judaism, an organization dedicated to countering the efforts of missionaries who target Jews, said, ”It is unimaginable that Daystar Television Network should come to the Jewish State of Israel and act as a predator – trying to evangelize Jews to convert to Christianity.”

“Christian evangelism towards Jews does tremendous damage to the possibility of Jews and Christians working together towards the common goal of strengthening Israel against her enemies,” Singer continued. “There will be no friendship between Christians and Jews so long as there are efforts to go behind our backs and missionize Jews.

Rabbi Singer noted that the Jewish People stand united, regardless of Jewish affiliation or background, in their opposition to Christian efforts to convert Jews. “Every Jew stands together on this issue.”

Rabbi Singer offers on his website 25 free, downloadable lectures on Judaism's response to Christian missionaries.

Yisrael Zinger, an official of, the Israeli anti-missionary group Yad L’Achim, described the Daystar Television Network’s agenda in Israel: “Their real purpose is to try to convince as many people as possible to become Christians. They believe that unless that happens, their Messiah — Jesus — won’t come. For [Evangelical Christians], Israel is the place to save souls.”

Jerusalem City Councilwoman Mina Fenton has been active in issues relating to curbing missionary activity in Israel. She explained that the right to freedom of expression does not outweigh a threat to the Jewish character of the Jewish State: "The State of Israel must safeguard its Jewish existence which means preventing any non-Jewish authority that plans to wipe out the Jewish Nation spiritually from operating in the Jewish State."