The Economist bizarrely alleges ‘decades-long Israeli ban on Arabic songs’

UK Media Watch

A Nov. 27th article in The Economist, titled ‘The Economist Explains: The status of Arabic speakers in Israel‘, included the claim that “Arabic songs were banned from Israeli radio for several decades.”

economist-claimHowever, we could no find no evidence that this is even partially true. Indeed, the only other place we could find a version of this claim was in a 2015 article published at Middle East Eye – but the claim (unsurprisingly) is not sourced.

Indeed, evidence suggests there couldn’t possibly have been such a ban (yet alone one “for several decades”) on Arabic songs.

On the website of the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA), there’s this on the history of Arabic radio:

The domestic Hebrew station broadcasts included, until 1956, programs in Arabic. After the Sinai Campaign, Kol Yisrael in Arabic split from the Hebrew station, and in 1958 began broadcasting as…

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