Founded in 1988 as a radio station, Arutz Sheva formerly broadcast on the Israeli airwaves from the ship MV Hatzvi in the Mediterranean Sea off Israel until being shutdown by the Israeli government. The Hatzvi was much larger than most radio ships, but was broken up in 2003. Arutz Sheva may have the distinction of being the world's last ever offshore radio station.
Currently the station broadcasts over the Internet from its website which it has been running for about the last ten years. It was forced to broadcast from a ship because Israeli law only permits private radio station on the local level.
In February 1999, the Knesset passed a law legalizing the operation of Arutz Sheva and absolving it of earlier illegal broadcasting, but this was appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court which ruled the law null and void in March, 2002. Supporters of the station claim this is due to opposition to their right-wing views. In October 2003, ten employees of Arutz Sheva were convicted of operating an illegal radio station during the period 1995-1998, both from inside Israeli territorial waters and from locations in the West Bank. Station director Ya'acov Katz was also convicted on two counts of perjury for having lied about the location of the broadcasts.
Arutz Sheva had a Hebrew frequency and a foreign language frequency (English, Russian, and French) and it still broadcasts in Hebrew, English, and Russian over the Internet. Written news exists in all four languages on the website, as does Internet TV news in English and Hebrew. Arutz Sheva is Hebrew for "Channel Seven", and broadcasts from studios located in Beit El, Samaria and Petah Tikva.
In terms of politics, the station is considered Religious Zionist in its outlook, and is focused on issues directly affecting Israeli settlements.
Israel National News is the written news website, directed by Baruch Gordon. Hillel Fendel is the senior news editor and was long responsible for the site's popular daily email. Other news editors include Ezra HaLevi, responsible for photo essays, Nissan Ratzlav-Katz, Hana Levi Julian, Gil Ronen and others.
Israel National Radio is Arutz Sheva's English language Internet radio station operating in its own studio across in the same building as the Hebrew studio in Beit El. It broadcasts primarily across the Internet, and affirms its purpose as to spread the word of Israel to Jews and Israel-sympathizers living in English speaking countries as well as Anglophones living in Israel, to be the archetypal "light unto the nations".
The station is made up of news on the hour and half-hour, and live and pre-recorded programs that repeat themselves throughout the day after the first airing. These shows include current affairs commentaries, general talk shows, music shows, and Torah shows. The station's slogan is "the only independent news-talk network in the Middle East."
Prior to the banning of Arutz-7's regular radio broadcasts, the station would air for three hours a day on Arutz-7's foreign language frequency, which at other times broadcast in Russian and French.
The main broadcasters on the station are Yishai Fleisher, his wife Malkah Fleisher, Tamar Yonah, and renowned anti-missionary Rabbi Tovia Singer known as the "Chief Rabbi of Newstalk Radio." Other broadcasters do weekly shows while the just-named broadcasters air multiple days a week. The weekly shows include The Struggle (with ZFA activist Yehuda HaKohen, The Beat (a music program), Walter's World, Temple Talk (hosted by Rabbi Chaim Richman, a rabbi who works for the Temple Institute and serves on the Sanhedrin), The Eyshet Chayil ('Woman of Valor') Show, A Light Unto The Nations, The Jay Shapiro Show, Torah Tidbits Audio, and The Aliyah Revolution. These shows are archived for a week.
During shows, people can phone in on international toll-free numbers or chat with other listeners in a virtual studio.
Israel National TV offers online streaming television programs. The current English Broadcast anchors are Eliot Coe, Aharon Deutch and Yoni Kempinski, with Coe being the senior anchor. Yoni Kempinski also hosts a weekly 30 minute program entitled Israeli Salad with a variety of feature stories about life in Israel.
Arutz 7's popular jukebox offers a wide selection of Israeli, Hassidic & Oriental Music, including selections for Jewish holidays and special events.
The six-year-old B'Sheva newspaper is currently Israel's fourth most widely read newspaper, according to the TGI survey, and holds 7% of the Israeli market. The paper is distributed free to over 150,000 homes weekly.