Israeli Radio Chief Summoned on ‘Controversial’ Programme on Darwish

Late Palestinian poet, Mahmoud Darwish. (Photo: File)

The late Palestinian poet and icon, Mahmoud Darwish, has stirred controversy in Israel eight years after his death after Army Radio aired a show about him as inciting terrorism.

Israeli defence ministry yesterday issued a statement saying Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has summoned Army Radio chief, Yoran Dekel, due to the radio’s broadcast about Darwish which aired as part of the “University on the Air” program on Tuesday.

In a statement, Lieberman described Darwish as someone “who has written texts against Zionism” and whose poems “are still used as fuel for terror attacks against Israel”.

“It’s obvious that this is something that constitutes a cultural decline and it’s impossible to continue with business as usual.”

Army Radio management defended the program saying that it is educational and sought to “enrich and engage” their listeners with a variety of ideas.

“We believe that academic freedom obligates us to offer our listeners a wealth of ideas,” the station said.

Darwish, who died in 2008, is considered a national Palestinian symbol whose work embodies aspirations for freedom and independence.

(MEMO, PC)

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