Apple has removed an app that would have allowed users to watch the Hezbollah channel Al-Manar TV on their iPod, iPhone, or iPad, and that’s good news; the channel is a mouthpiece for anti-Israel, anti-West, and anti-American propaganda that is violent in nature.
The bad news is that Apple has not yet removed an app called ATN Live TV that would allow users to access Al-Manar TV. After 9/11, President Bush listed Al-Manar TV in Executive Order 13224 as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT). U.S. regulations prohibit U.S. persons from entering into certain transactions with SDGTs, including the making or receiving of any contribution of funds, goods, or services to an SDGT. Hezbollah itself is listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the State Department. Thus Apple providing access for Al-Manar to be disseminated possibly violates the regulation, and Apple may be violating the federal statute that bars providing material and technological support and services to an FTO.
How violent is Al-Manar? In their programming aimed at children, one talk show featured a kindergartner vowing to emulate Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, spouting anti-Israel venom. On another talk show, Imad, a Palestinian child less than four years old, says he will be like his grandfather, Hezbollah mastermind Imad Mughniyeh. Dressed in military garb, the child says when he grows up he will “Join the resistance” whereupon he is given his grandfather’s gun and urged to use it for play.
Brooke Goldstein of the Children’s Rights Institute urged Apple to remove the ATN Live TV app, saying, “By not removing it, Apple is minimally turning a blind eye and allowing Hezbollah to facilitate violent indoctrination of innocent Muslim children. At most, Apple is assisting this mission.”
What will Apple do?