“Certainly, if we were doing something sneaky, we would not have announced it to the world,” said GOD TV regional director Ron Cantor.
By Aaron Sull, World Israel News
Shelanu TV, a Hebrew-language broadcast of GOD TV, was threatened on Tuesday with being shut down if it violates the law of proselytizing to people under 18 years of age.
“We will not allow any missionary channel to operate in the State of Israel at any time and in any situation,” said Communications Minister Dudi Amsalem.
GOD TV aired its first episode in Israel on April 27, after signing a seven-year contract with HOT Cable, the largest cable network in Israel. Its missionary programming primarily caters to youth in over 200 countries around the world.
Although GOD TV’s license to operate came from Israel’s Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council, a sovereign body not beholden to the Ministry of Communication, Amsalem nonetheless pressured the council to launch an immediate investigation into the matter.
“As soon as I heard about the incident, I asked the council’s chairman to launch a comprehensive investigation to determine that no channel is violating the terms of its license, and if indeed this channel is engaged in missionary activities, it will be taken down immediately,” Amsalem said.
Haaretz reached out to GOD TV regional director Ron Cantor for comment, to which he replied that GOD TV has been completely honest and transparent about the nature of its programming to both HOT and the broadcasting council.
“We are not ashamed of who we are and what we believe,” Cantor said. “We were told many times that laws have changed and there was no issue with our programming.”
“Certainly, if we were doing something sneaky, we would not have announced it to the world,” he added.
Haaretz also reached out to HOT for comment, to which a spokeswoman for the cable service provider replied that GOD TV received its license from the broadcasting council lawfully and cooperated fully with all parties during the process.
Under Israeli law, proselytizing to people under 18 years of age is forbidden unless consent is given by a parent.