'Army Radio has gone off the rails', says Regev

Culture Minister blasts publicly funded radio station for dedicating program to Arab nationalist poet.

David Rosenberg ,

מירי רגב
מירי רגב
Photo by Marc Israel Sellem/POOL

Culture Minister Miri Regev attacked on Tuesday an announcement by Army Radio that the publicly funded station would be dedicating a program to the nationalist Arab poet, Mahmoud Darwish.

“It cannot be that the public is funding a broadcasting station that harms the [public’s own] sensitivities and gives a podium to a Palestinian narrative which opposes the very existence of Israel as a Jewish democratic state,” Regev told NRG Tuesday evening.

Army Radio has gone off the rails,” added Regev. “A public radio station in the Defense Ministry cannot permit itself to strengthen or glorify the anti-Israel narrative within the framework of a radio program intended to focus on ‘foundational texts of Israel’.”

“Mahmoud Darwish isn’t Israeli and his texts are not Israeli and are in essence in opposition to the central values of Israeli society.”

“I again call upon Defense Minister Liberman to clear this up. Army Radio must be removed from the defense establishment.”

Darwish, a Palestinian nationalist, was a member of the PLO’s executive committee and authored a draft of what was intended to serve as the organization’s declaration of independence.

Some on the Israeli left have sought to include Darwish’s work in the Israeli Education Ministry’s curriculum, calling it a meaningful step towards cultural normalization with the Palestinian Authority.