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The Philadelphia Jewish Voice

The Delaware Valley's Progressive Alternative

Volume 1 - Number 2 - August 2005 

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Radio All for Peace

More than 100,000 Palestinian and Israeli listeners each day


The stats are in and the news is good: Radio All for Peace is a smash hit! The radio station that began just a year ago has already achieved an impressive fan base. The Jerusalem-based Internet station, Radio All for Peace, has an audience of between 100,000 and 140,000 listeners each day, with between 17,000-19,000 listeners tuning in for more than 25 minutes every day. The statistical research that was completed with the radio station's first birthday gives a breakdown of who is listening, as well as what interests those listeners most. More than half of the audience of Radio All for Peace are Israelis, a third of the audience are Palestinians from the territories, and approximately 20% of listeners are international. 

One time slot in particular has a steady audience of 10,000 listeners each day 11am to 1pm when the first hour is all Hebrew language programming and the second hour is all Arabic. The FM transmission of Radio All for Peace has been up and running for 3 months now, however the statistical information is only for the Internet site. According to Mossi Raz, Deputy Director at Givat Haviva and committee member of Radio All for Peace, it is difficult to get statistics on FM radio audiences from both the territories and Israel at the same time, so as yet there are no ratings for the FM transmission. 

The statistics show that audience members increase during the various talk-radio programs that make Radio All for Peace unique. The radio station was originally meant to be an offshoot of the highly popular Crossing Borders magazine, a Givat Haviva publication that gives Palestinian and Jewish Israeli teenagers the opportunity to tell their side of the story through articles and essays. Radio All for Peace takes the same coexistence message but expresses it through Hebrew and Arabic music, as well as interviews and talk shows. Radio All for Peace aims to tackle the lack of trust that each side has for the other, as well as pushing their audience to look beyond the suffering of their own people in the conflict. The assumption behind Radio All for Peace is that Palestinian and Israeli media serve only to perpetuate the fear and mistrust of the other side, as each tends to report in a way that is sympathetic to their own audience. The result is that Palestinians and Israelis end up listening to very different news about the conflict. As such they don't often acknowledge, or even hear about, the crimes committed by their own side, and in such a climate it is very hard to be tolerant or to reach out to the perceived enemy. 

Radio All for Peace deals with this problem by offering programming that deals with Palestinian issues, stories and interviews in Hebrew, complemented with the same type of programming about Jewish Israelis in Arabic. In this way, Radio All for Peace hopes to enlighten their listeners with a more balanced approach to the Arab/Israeli conflict. But, more importantly, the very nature of the radio station is proof that Palestinians and Israelis can work together. The success of the radio station is encouraging to the programmers at Radio All for Peace and Givat Haviva, but the sad fact is the radio station is in great danger of running out of financial support. As of August 1st 2005, the radio station will finish its contract with the European Union, the biggest funding body of Radio All for Peace. Proposals and funding drives are being organized in order to keep the radio station going, but as of yet there are no major donors lined up. "Radio All for Peace has a unique voice," says Leo Williams, a recent addition to the All for Peace DJs, "It would be a shame to see a radio station with such a good message leave the airwaves because of lack of funding. People like listening to All for Peace because it is coexistence in action. We have thousands of listeners everyday because we are the only radio station in Israel that deals with the conflict from both perspectives at the same time. If we lose our funding there won't be anyone else out there with the same message." 

If you wish to support Givat Haviva in keeping Radio All for Peace on the air you can write to them at mmd@givathaviva.org.il , or phone Mohammad Darawshe at +972-4-6309266.