Two years after being barred due to a public outcry, Israel cable TV provider HOT is once again broadcasting Daystar Television programming in Israel.

Back in August, Jewish Israel, Yad L’achim and Arutz 7 ran reports on the launching of TBN affiliated Russian-language Christian programming, “Rodnoy”, in Israel, targeting Israel’s immigrant population.

At the time Jewish Israel posted a letter from the President of TBN- Russia and "Rodnoy", who wrote, “The time has come…for Jews and gentiles alike, to grow together into one creation through Christ” and that “it’s pleasing to consider the fact that the Israelis are waiting for us impatiently.”

We were concerned about the precedent this would set for other missionary networks to claim “the right” to spread Christian gospel in Israel, and whether this would mean that Daystar would be making a comeback. Well it seems we were late in the game, as Daystar was already up and broadcasting here.

The bad news about the “good news”:

A translation from a June 2009 report in the Hebrew daily Ma’ariv appears on the missionary website Caspari:
"Two years after it was dropped due to public pressure, the cable company HOT has restored the evangelical Christian channel Daystar to its broadcasts. The company's decision was approved last week by the Council for Cable and Satellite Broadcasting, and the channel has already managed to begin rebroadcasting. The channel first went on the air in Israel in May 2006 on cable and satellite. Preaching Christianity, it is run by evangelical Christians in the U.S. who are part of a large group of Christian Zionists which contributes millions of dollars annually to the State."

Recently TV personality Pastor Steve Grey reported:
“I have had a dream for years to see the glory of God and revival taken to Israel. Coincidentally, Daystar is planning on opening a new television studio in Israel. This makes me wonder if somehow this could start to happen through our collaboration and partnership with Daystar. Could it be that true revival will only come when Gentiles and Jews are brought together into one new man and together experience the presence and power of God? This is something everyone who loves Israel and revival should be thinking about.”

A Christian blogger recently posted:
“I am thrilled that Israel now has Christian television courtesy of Daystar. Our Jewish brothers and sisters can now have a deeper walk with God encompassing both the old and new testaments. I encourage our Jewish friends to watch Daystar with an open mind. You may find some new wonderful nuggets of truth.”

And last week a press release reported:
“… Daystar broadcasts to over 200 countries and 525 million households worldwide. It is also the first Christian television network to broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week into the Nation of Israel.”

A member of the Jewish Israel staff confirms that he saw Daystar broadcasting on HOT recently.

A little history:

Back in 2007 the Christian missionary Daystar network launched in Israel with much fanfare – with Christian Zionists from Pastor Hagee to the organization Bridges for Peace hailing the opportunity to spread the gospel via television in Israel. But it didn’t take long before public pressure forced the Israeli cable provider HOT to drop Daystar like a hot potato. At the time, the company said it had received numerous complaints about Daystar's content, and commercials. According to INN News, among the offensive content was a 15-minute infomercial by the American Messianic ministry Jewish Voice Ministries International, which HOT representatives said “targets a Jewish audience with the message of Jesus.”

Take a good look:

Jewish Israel has previously blogged about Daystar’s Dark Shadows and has posted a sample of its programming which targets Jews. Also available in our video library is a clip on Daystar’s missionary aspirations for Israel. Daystar is a major contributor and backer of Pastor Hagee and CUFI. Just look at how Jewish community leaders kvell over that giant blank check - blank because it’s awaiting the donation from Daystar. (Look closely, is that a cross inside the Star of David at the podium?)

A possible grand opening for a new station in Israel?

Daystar was advertising a trip to Israel from November 21-28 2009,
“Marcus & Joni will be returning to the Holy Land and hope that you will join them on their Journey. With 8 days of inspirational itinerary, we know that you will be blessed by this amazing event.”

But all of the links which were advertising the trip are dead. Whether the trip was cancelled, registration was closed, or Daystar prefers to keep this trip and any grand plans under wraps remains to be seen.

Take some action:

Public pressure worked before, it’s time to try again.

Register your complaints about Daystar’s broadcasting in Israel to:

The management of HOT Telecommunications :
Phone: 972-77-7077101
Fax: 972-77-7077006
Website: www.hot.net.il

The Ministry of Communications:
dovrut@moc.gov.il

The Ministry of the Interior:
pniot@moin.gov.il

Council for Cable and satellite Broadcasting:
Phone: 02-6702210
Fax: 02-6702273

Broadcasting Regulatory Administration
Phone: 03-5198122

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