Middle East Eyewitness News (RAM-FM 93.6) launched a new English-language radio station broadcasting news to Middle Eastern countries and is aimed at promoting Israeli and Palestinian dialogue.
The station is to broadcast 24 hours a day from studios in Ramallah and Jerusalem.
Isaac Kirsh, the founder of the station, said he obtained licenses from the Palestinian Authority government because it was easier than trying from Israel after coming up with the idea for the station.
“It all started with a Newsweek article in 2002 about an esteemed and well-known Palestinian businessman who was influenced by both sides,” Kirsh said. “The significant thing was that Israelis saw his achievements as a way to compromise and reconcile.”
After his retirement, Kirsh saw this as his opportunity to move forward in forming his own radio station.
The station is to employ citizens from around the world, including Israelis and Palestinians and is owned by the South African company Middle East Broadcasting Holdings. Operational costs are expected to reach $2 million.
“We plan to turn into an international station,” said Kirsh, “But our first step is to build an audience of listeners in Israel and the Palestinian Authority with the same type of radio we founded in South Africa.”