MK Calls For Civil Disobedience Against State-Run Media

Dr. Aryeh Eldad (National Union) says that the civil disobedience used to protest the Disengagement Plan must be harnessed to bring about change in Israel - starting with the state-controlled media.

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Ezra HaLevi, | updated: 14:02


"Until we establish an alternative to the current media establishment, there is no reason to continue to pay the State Television Tax," MK Eldad told Arutz-7 Thursday.

Every Israeli household with a television receives a bill in the mail once a year for around $100 from the Israel Broadcasting Authority. The funds are used to pay for Israel's state-run television, which tends to be unsympathetic to right-wing and religious causes and is often downright hostile.

"If only a hundred people let them know they are no longer willing to pay [state television anchor] Chaim Yavin's salary, they will confiscate their television and refrigerator. But if the 100,000 people who show up for demonstrations in city squares will refuse to pay the TV tax, it will become impossible to enforce this outrage, whereby we are forced to fund the production of slander against us. Citizens must inform the Broadcasting Authority that they are not prepared to buy for themselves the rope by which they will be hanged."

Chaim Yavin, the longest-serving nightly-news host in Israel, produced a five-part documentary earlier this year entitled, "The Land of the Settlers," in which he expressed his personal opinions claiming negative effects of Jewish residence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza on Israeli society.

Leading up to the summer, MK Eldad was one of the only Knesset members to vocally call for non-violent civil disobedience to prevent the expulsion of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria. He sees the refusal to pay the Broadcasting Authority's tax as a first step toward using civil disobedience to bring about radical change within the State of Israel. "This is a form of non-violent civil disobedience that is part and parcel of the demand for functional Jewish independence in the State of Israel," Eldad said. "Not a disconnected autonomy from the State of Israel, but one by which we will, from within, create frameworks chosen by the Jewish people, which will act in all fields, and through negotiations with the government of the state receive their portion of the state's tax monies, if we continue to pay them."

"This idea must be launched through a first step," Eldad concluded, "and the refusal to pay the TV tax has the potential to be that step."

MK Eldad also urged youth loyal to Land of Israel ideals to begin to view entry to the areas of media broadcasting and leadership as an ideal. "We are now in a period of self-examination and a real need to extract lessons for the road ahead," Eldad said. "We always thought that the facts we established on the ground were irreversible - an assumption that was revealed to be erroneous when large, strong and established communities were destroyed just as fast as small ones. Now it is apparent that pursuits that we have traditionally scorned, such as politics and media, are critical. Youth that in former times would have gone to head settlement core-groups now must be called upon to focus their energies toward the arenas that we abandoned all these years. Aversion of these arenas will not prevent them from destroying our lives - the falsehoods will not cease, even if we create and reveal truth."

MK Eldad also spoke about the upcoming Likud primaries. "The focal point of our energies in the near future must be to put pressure on the members of the Likud Central Committee to push up the primaries," Eldad insisted. "I read that the Yesha Council is finding it difficult to recruit activists for this purpose, but we need to remember that this a most important arena of political activity. The overthrow of Sharon at this time could rehabilitate the settlement movement."