Type of site
|Owner||Beit El yeshiva|
Arutz Sheva (Hebrew: ערוץ שבע, lit. Channel Seven) is an Israeli media network identifying with Religious Zionism. It offers online news in Hebrew, English, and Russian. Arutz Sheva offers free podcasts, live streaming radio, a daily email news update, streaming video and 24-hour updated text news. Arutz Sheva sees itself as "the only independent national radio station in Israel" and a counterbalance to " 'negative thinking' and 'post-Zionist' attitudes."
In the 1970s an unlicensed radio station Voice of Peace was launched, broadcasting peace messages. In response, Israelis opposed to negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization launched their own offshore radio station, Arutz Sheva, in 1988. The station was broadcast on the Israeli airwaves from the ship MV Hatzvi in the Mediterranean Sea. While the broadcast was generated from the ship, the actual studio was in Beit El. Arutz Sheva has been described as the voice of the Israeli settlement movement. It was one of the first internet radio stations and was used as a Beta tester for RealPlayer. From 1996 to 2002, Arutz Sheva broadcast in Russian.
In February 1999, the Knesset passed a law granting a license to Arutz Sheva and absolving it of earlier illegal broadcasting, but this was appealed to the Supreme Court of Israel, which ruled the law null and void in March 2002. In October 2003, ten employees of Arutz Sheva were convicted of operating an illegal radio station during the period 1995–98, both from inside Israeli territorial waters and from Beit El. The defendants were fined and sentenced to 3–6 months of community service. The prosecution appealed, attempting to get heavier sentences, but were strongly criticized by the appellant court for their handling of the case, and the prosecution was told to drop the appeal or face an investigation into their conduct during the entire trial. Station director Ya'akov "Katzele" Katz was also convicted on two counts of perjury for having lied about the location of the broadcasts. In 2006, Katz was pardoned by President Moshe Katsav. In 2008, Katz became chairman of the National Union party, and a member of the 18th Knesset. Arutz Sheva's operations became fully legal under media laws enacted in 1999.
Arutz Sheva has been running its website since 1995. Editor-in-chief is Uzi Baruch. Today, three versions of the site are offered: Hebrew, English and Russian. It includes news articles, news briefs, videos, op-eds, a Judaism section, opinion polls and caricatures. Arutz Sheva offers online streaming videos in Hebrew and English with news anchor and producer Yoni Kempinski, Knesset reporter Hezki Ezra, overseas correspondent Eliran Aharon and others. Arutz Sheva's jukebox offers a selection of Israeli, Hassidic and Mediterranean music, including selections for Jewish holidays and special events.
Israel National Radio is Arutz Sheva's English language internet radio station, operating in Beit El. It broadcasts primarily across the Internet, is simulcast on radio stations in the United States, Canada and South Africa, and affirms its purposes as being to spread the word of Israel to Jews and Israel-sympathizers in the English-speaking world as well as Anglophones living in Israel, and to be the archetypal "light unto the nations." During shows, people can phone in on international toll-free numbers or chat with other listeners. The station's slogan is "the largest independent newstalk network in the Middle East." According to professors Shlomo Deshen and Charles Liebman, the radio station promotes right-wing positions.
Israel National Radio is made up of news on the hour and live and pre-recorded podcasts. These shows include current affairs commentaries, general talk shows, music shows, and Torah shows. The podcasts on the station include Tamar Yonah, Yishai Fleisher, The Struggle (with ZFA activist Yehuda HaKohen), Israel Beat (a music program), Walter's World (with veteran broadcaster Walter Bingham), Land Minds (with Dovid Wilner and Barnea Selavan), Temple Talk (hosted by Rabbi Chaim Richman, who works for the Temple Institute), A Light Unto The Nations, The Jay Shapiro Show, Torah Tidbits Audio (with Phil Chernofsky), and The Aliyah Revolution (co-hosted by Go'el Jasper and Daniel Esses).
B'Sheva newspaper is currently Israel's fourth most widely read newspaper, according to the TGI survey, and holds 7% of the Israeli market. The paper is distributed free to over 150,000 homes weekly.
Writing on Slate in 2014, journalist William Saletan described Arutz Sheva as more or less the equivalent of the American Fox News or the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency, offering constantly updated news of interest to a right-of-center audience. "For news," he wrote, "it’s totally on the ball."
- We Need To Put The Spirit Back Into The People: An Interview with Arutz Sheva’s Yishai Fleisher, The Jewish Press, February 2010.
- "Israel legalises religious pirate radios". BBC News. 1999-02-24. Retrieved 2010-04-25.
- "‘We Need To Put The Spirit Back Into The People’: An Interview with Arutz Sheva’s Yishai Fleisher". The Jewish Press. 10 February 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
- Sue Fishkoff (December 20, 1996). "Station With A Soul". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
- Schejter, Amit (2009). Muting Israeli democracy: how media and cultural policy undermine free expression. University of Illinois Press. p. 30. ISBN 978-0-252-07693-0.
- van der Ven, Martin. "Arutz 7". offshore-radio.de. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
- Shuman, Ellis (2003-10-21). "Politics: After court convicts Arutz-7 of illegal broadcasting, station goes off air". israelinsider. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
- Arutz-7 Trial Is Over, 25 May 25 2004
- Arutz Sheva senior personnel sentenced; israelinsider, Jerusalem Post, Dec 30, 2003
- Arutz Sheva staff given jail, fines, Haaretz, 30 December 2003
- "A Decade after Demise of his Alternative Station, MK Katz Alters Broadcasting Authority Law". The Jewish Press. 5 March 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
- Shlomo A. Deshen, Charles S. Liebman (1995-02-01). Israeli Judaism: The Sociology of Religion in Israel. p. 117.
- Saletan, William (25 July 2014). "Skip the Commentary, Find the Reporting". Slate. Retrieved 1 December 2014.