Hebrew: ? 7
|Founder||Zalman Baruch Melamed|
|Ya'akov Katz (Chairman)|
|Owner||HolyLand Holdings Ltd|
|Parent||Beit El yeshiva|
Arutz Sheva (Hebrew: ? 7, lit. Channel 7), also known in English as Israel National News, is an Israeli media network identifying with Religious Zionism. It offers online news articles in Hebrew, English, and Russian, as well as live streaming radio, video and free podcasts. It also publishes a weekly newspaper, B'Sheva, with the third-largest weekend circulation in the country.
In the 1970s an offshore radio station Voice of Peace was launched, broadcasting pacifistic messages. In response, Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed launched radio station Arutz Sheva in 1988, aimed at Israelis opposed to negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Based in Beit El, the station generated its broadcast on the Israeli airwaves from the ship MV Eretz HaTzvi in the Mediterranean Sea. 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 2003, Arutz Sheva ceased its radio operations after attempts to legalize it were unsuccessful.
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 appellate 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.
Arutz Sheva has been running its website since 1995. Editor-in-chief is Uzi Baruch, who succeeded Baruch Gordon and Hillel Fendel. 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 Jewish music including Israeli, Hassidic and Mizrahi songs, as well as music 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 supporters 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."
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, and Torah programs. The podcasts on the station include Tamar Yonah, Yishai Fleisher, The Struggle (with Yehuda HaKohen), Israel Beat (a music program), Walter's World (with Walter Bingham), Land Minds (with Dovid Wilner and Barnea Selavan), Temple Talk (hosted by Rabbi Chaim Richman), 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).