UPDATE July 1, 2020: Shelanu TV will shut down on cable – and reopen online
Shelanu TV has released the license it received to broadcast believing content in Israel and insists: It is not in violation of the agreement.
This is contrary to statements by Communication and Satellite Council Chairman Asher Biton.
“The channel appeals to Jews with Christian content, contrary to the original request for the channel’s approval, which states that it is intended for the Christian population,” Biton said.
Shelanu maintains this is a lie and offered the text of the license as proof:
10. Characterization of the channel, including content types (genres): Christian channel that promotes positivity, hope and close connection with God. The channel broadcasts hosting shows, music, interviews, spiritual shows and more. Attached is a characterization document and sample board.
11. Characterization of the channel’s target audience, including age groups and cultural groups: women and men in all ages.
Where does it say: “It is for the Christian population”? Nowhere. It cannot be found in the Shelanu application. And Mr. Biton approved it and gave us a license with these words:
1.2 The channel is intended for the Israeli viewing audience.
1.5 The channel is not completely identical in its broadcast to the channel broadcasts, as broadcast in other territories and integrates dedicated content to the Israeli audience.
Biton was referring to a request from God TV in 2017, which was presented as an entirely different channel and was in English only.
“Shelanu is a completely different channel, and Mr, Biton knows that,” said Ron Cantor, God TV regional director in Israel.
Cantor said that the only reason for questioning the license was due to complaints from Yad l’Achim, an anti-missionary group.
“It doesn’t bother us that he wants us to apply for a new license,” Cantor said. “Maybe there was some confusion in his understanding of Shelanu, but to say that we tricked him into broadcasting content that is not allowed under our license is simply not true.”
“From the first day we met with HOT, it was very clear what we wanted to broadcast: Messianic Jews sharing their faith in Yeshua in a variety of ways, from interviews, to music, to personal stories. And that’s what we do to this day. Our content providers are Israelis. Sabras. Serving in the Army. Paying their taxes. And we are people of integrity. If we really lied to get a license, of course we would have been caught. It does not make sense. It goes against everything we teach.”
Cantor continued: “If Mr. Biton is surprised that we did not change our plans after the hearing, it is because we are obliged to do what we are licensed to do. If we were to change, then that would have been dishonest.”
Related article: Fake News: Shelanu TV has been suspended, not closed down