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Rav Ben-Atar to Begin Prison Sentence After Chanukah

prison.jpgRav Shmuel Ben-Atar, of the now defunct Kol HaEmet Radio, is scheduled to begin serving a nine-month prison sentence after Chanukah. This follows an appeal to the High Court, which upheld the lower court sentence.

As was reported by YWN, Rav Shmuel was found guilty of operating a pirate radio station, which allegedly interfered with air traffic control broadcasts in Ben-Gurion International Airport.

Rav Shmuel explained on Tuesday night that a few prominent rabbonim sought to assist him, as did Shas leader Eli Yishai and Minister Yitzchak Atias, but he was pained that in the big picture, Am Yisrael remained silenced despite the fact the government closed the voice of Torah, a radio station that aired shiurim and Torah, nothing else.

Rav Shmuel acknowledged his operation was “illegal”, but quoted Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar Shlita, who contacted authorities on his behalf. He quoted Rav Amar as having questioned authorities “have you finished fighting terrorism, crime, all other law-breakers permitting you to place the operator of this station in jail for nine months?” He cited many other law-breakers, who are guilty of victimless crimes, admittedly breaking the law, but not sent to jail for nine months.

He also explained that today, there are AM frequencies available that are no longer being used by the military, but they will not grant permits to Torah stations since they do not want such content aired to the public at large.

Rav Ben-Atar explained he is not worried about serving prison time, or his 10 children being without him, but he is pained over the unyielding war against Torah radio, explaining the non-frum have television, soccer, movies and many forms of entertainment but the Torah world does not have other outlets.

He accuses the authorities of targeting frum stations to silence their message of Torah, realizing his particular station was responsible for bringing many yidden back to observance of Torah and mitzvos, a reality that many of the secular powers that be do not find a pleasing reality.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

10 Responses

  1. a) does anyone really believe that the courts conspired for the benefit of Arutz 7?!!

    b) was Arutz 7 accused of having “interfered with air traffic control broadcasts in Ben-Gurion International Airport”?

    double nope.

  2. RAV AMNON YITZCHAK Shlita should stage a mass PEACEFULL demonstration with thousands and thousands of people in front of the high(low) court to protest this madness.

    Just like here in America the press is controlled by the anti-religous.

  3. Joseph:
    1) Arutz 7’s radio tower was ran off of a boat in international waters. “Legally” speaking there was nothing the govt. could do to them.
    2) When the boat came in for repairs to Israel it was stormed by the Israeli govt. and all equipment was confiscated.
    1) The “Zionist Reshoyim” hate the ones running Arutz 7. The ones running it although they are mizrachi they hate the ones running the country for many reasons.

  4. Joseph… I understand how you feel about Zionism… and I’ve seen you comment about it multiple times… but is there really a to’eles to post things like that on Yeshiva World News? The people who agree with you already agree with you, and the people who disagree just get angrier. It’s just bringing more ca’as and sinah into the world. Does hoche’ach toche’ach es amisecha apply when you’re just driving the person you’re trying to give mussar to further away? Is HKB”H gonna give you a shkoyach after 120 for making pointless (whether they are true or not… I’m not saying) mussar and making people angrier? I understand it’s important to defend HKB”H’s honor… but there’s a time and a place… and at the end of the day HaShem isn’t interested in the hatred.

  5. Joseph?! Why would you call anybody a rasha for preventing the loss of human life. r’ ben-atar is VERY fortunate that no planes filled with people crashed because he felt he was above the law. Countries MUST have laws – they are for everyones benefit.

    You have to think a bit more before you make comments like that!

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