Monday, August 03, 2009

Syrian Nazis broadcast on Australian radio

From The Australian, August 03, 2009, by Lauren Wilson:

AUSTRALIA's largest ethnic community radio station, Melbourne's 3ZZZ, will conduct a vigorous review of its Syrian broadcast after local supporters of the right-wing Syrian Social Nationalist Party quoted anti-Semitic material on air.

George Salloum, the station president and convenor of its Syrian program, which is broadcast four times a week including in the prime 6pm spot on Wednesday, admitted several broadcasts in the month of July "overstepped the line".

His comments followed the publication of an article in this month's Australia/Israel Review, which alleged that 3ZZZ's Syrian broadcast "advances the Nazi-inspired dogma of a violent secular party". The article, written by Ilan Grapel, a researcher with the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, called the program "the mouthpiece of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party".

Grapel writes that Syrian social nationalism is "the only topic that pervades the 3ZZZ radio broadcast dedicated to Australian-Syrian interests".

Mr Salloum, who spoke to The Australian at his home in Melbourne's northern suburbs yesterday, admitted local affiliates of the SSNP were given air time during July to mark the 60th anniversary of the death of the party's founder, Antun Sa'adeh...

...Among the examples of anti-Semitism Grapel alleges went to air on the radio program in July was the proclamation: "There is no enemy that fights our religion, right, and homeland, except for the Jews".

...The SSNP is a right-wing political party in Syria that promotes a secular "greater Syrian" nation. It has been criticised for using Nazi-like imagery including in its logo.

According to the party's website one of its basic principles is that Syria's interests supercede every other interest.

...Radio 3ZZZ is Australia's largest ethnic community radio station and has broadcast regularly for the past 20 years.

Based in the inner Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy, the station claims 400,000 listeners to its various broadcasts each week.

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