JERUSALEM (Feb. 12)
The controversial film Hirbet Hiza will be shown on Israel television tomorrow night, just a week after Education Minister Zevulun Hammer banned it on grounds that it served Arab propaganda interests. The Israel Broadcasting Authority voted 18-6 tonight to override Hammer despite protests from Herut and the National Religious Party.
Hirbet Hiza is based on a popular novelette by Samech Izhar (Smilansky) which depicts the dilemma of Israeli soldiers who banished Arabs from their village during Israel’s war for independence in 1948. Although fictional, it is based on actual incidents. It was about to be broadcast last Monday night when Hammer exercised his authority to have it cancelled pending a review by the full Broadcasting Authority. His action brought charges of censorship and violation of free speech.
Although several Cabinet ministers endorsed Hammer’s ban at today’s Cabinet meeting, the final decision, under the law, rests with the Broadcast Authority.