If Al-Quds satellite station actually closes its doors and completely stops broadcasting, which is what is currently occurring, albeit gradually, this means that the enemies of the Palestinian national project succeeded in silencing the voice that has long plagued the occupation over the past ten years. Moreover, silencing Al-Quds carries a number of implications, most importantly those associated with the “deal of the century”, which is simmering on a low heat, and the need to silence voices opposed to it.
The collapse of Al-Quds, which broadcasts from Beirut, is occurring shortly after the imminent closure of Al-Aqsa television in Gaza, which almost occurred a few weeks ago. However, this was cancelled at the last minute. It is also occurring a few months after the complete shutdown of Al-Ketab satellite which was broadcast from Gaza. The common reason behind all of these closures and obstacles is a financial crisis.
Al-Quds has been a source of concern for the Israelis over the last ten years and it played an important role during the three wars waged against the Gaza Strip. It has therefore been bombed by the Israeli air force in Gaza and its crews were prohibited from operating in the occupied West Bank, occupied Jerusalem, and the territories inside the Green Line. Some of its journalists and correspondents were arrested and the channel was eventually shut down in those areas.
The only reason for the collapse and closure of Al-Quds channel is the financial crisis, and the reason behind the financial crisis is the siege imposed by the Arabs on the Palestinian resistance and all of its media outlets. This was the siege the Israelis were unsuccessful with, but the Arab regimes succeeded in this regard. It is a carefully planned and systematic siege that aims to silence the voices that are opposed to the “deal of the century”. It has become clear that a number of Arab regimes are involved in the arrangements of this deal and have colluded in passing it, despite the unanimous Palestinian and Jordanian rejection of it.
All the other reasons that some of the employees and those monitoring the situation have referred to are embellishments and are not the truth. Administrative errors, financial waste, or other reasons do not lead to the complete shut down of a television channel and cannot silence its voice. Moreover, a lot of these stories and statements are just figments of the imagination of those uttering them.
Al-Quds and other channels that can be referred to as the resistance’s media outlets are funded by Arab donors who have a love and passion for Palestine and Jerusalem and those who want to support the Palestinian people. Such donors were singled out by the Arab regimes, which spend millions, and even billions of dollars to slander the Palestinian people in order to promote normalisation with Israel.
The Arab regimes that besiege the Palestinians and demonise them and prevent donors from supporting them and supporting their resistance and steadfastness in the face of the occupation, are the same ones that have recently been exposed as being involved in the Judaisation of occupied Jerusalem. They are also the same regimes that are in collusion with Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner in preparing the “deal of the century”. They are also the same countries who mobilise electronic armies to post comments online such as, “the Palestinians in Palestine carry an Israeli passport, the Palestinians abroad sold their country, the Palestinian in Gaza are spies for Iran, and the Arabs’ interests i.e. in normalising relations with Israel because Iran is more dangerous than Israel.” Those who believe this foolish and dubious theory are the same people who besieged Al-Quds and silenced its voice in order to continue their project.
The bottom line is that the targeting and silencing of Al-Quds is happening in the context of the siege imposed on the entire Palestinian nation and as part of the systematic campaign targeting Palestinians in order to justify normalisation with Israel. This then leads to justifying the “deal of the century”, which these Arab regimes do not want any one opposing.
This article first appeared in Arabic in Arabi21 on 19 February 2019
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.