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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 05:48 AM
Original message
Herut's freedom of expression
Freedom of expression in Israel suffered a fatal blow this week at the hands of the next president of the Supreme Court, Justice Dorit Beinisch. Two days ago, Beinisch, in her role as chair of the Central Elections Committee, ruled to delete two lines from the Herut Party's elections jingle on the radio. The lines concerned support for the idea of transfer, and used a play on words on the expression, "A good Arab is a dead Arab." To be more precise, the lines that were disqualified were: "A good Arab is not a dead Arab; a good Arab sometimes wants to leave."

Let me start out by saying that I am not a Herut supporter, and that I do not agree with its messages. However, Beinisch's quick finger on the censorship trigger should worry anyone who holds freedom of expression dear. In keeping with the rulings of the High Court of Justice regarding freedom of expression, the circumstances of the case do not in any way justify the disqualification of the broadcast or parts thereof.

Beinisch's claim that the disqualified lines would almost certainly constitute severe and genuine damage to the public interest is groundless. Her ruling somewhat emasculates "the test of near certainty," which prevails in order to prevent certain expressions ahead of time in the manner in which Justice Beinisch tried to implement it. It is very doubtful whether the clear statement, "A good Arab is a dead Arab," as contemptible as it is, arouses a significant fear of damage to the public interest, as required by the test of near certainty. All the more so, when it comes to a play on words, even if the content is racist, the elements of the test of near certainty do not exist.


Had Justice Beinisch not made the effort to disqualify the broadcast, it is doubtful whether anyone would have noticed it, and even more doubtful whether the reaction to it would have been severe. There is not even a low probability that in the wake of this broadcast, riots would have erupted or that there would have been the kind of "severe reaction" that justifies censorship. In any case, the rest of the broadcast's content was not changed, and it is difficult to see how erasing those same two lines affects the public reaction, so that now it is "safe" to broadcast the commercial.

Beinisch's claim that the test of near certainty exists is the most egregious mistake in her laconic decision, although it is not the only one. If Herut's platform or the idea of transfer that it promotes run contrary to The Basic Law on the Knesset, and justify disqualifying the list from running in the elections, the CEC can disqualify it. However, and as Supreme Court President Justice Aharon Barak ruled in the matter of Rabbi Meir Kahane, a legal party should not be prevented from promoting its platform.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/691937.html
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 12:07 AM
Response to Original message
1. censorship...like the cartoon...
Edited on Sat Mar-11-06 12:36 AM by pelsar
so i can assume that those who were against the cartoons probably find this judgement as an additional sign of israeli progressiveness and want to congratulate israel for being far ahead of Europe.....

i just realize some might be confused as to which cartoons.....

i am referring to Englands award winnig cartoon showing sharon eating palestenian children..so similar to other anti semtic cartoons, of course it equally applies to the Danish cartoons....

if one likes censorship and book burning than i guess israel is keeping up with "modern values".....

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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 05:53 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Being opposed to cartoons does not mean a support of censorship...
This party sounds like one that should be disqualified from running in elections, but I'm wondering if those who cherish freedom of speech would think that's a horrible violation of their freedom of speech?

When it comes to censorship or laws against hate, I think Israel's pretty much spot on with how it deals with it. I know that Americans with their Freedom Of Speech At All Costs view of the world will more than likely disagree with it, but tough titties to them....

I get the impression yr a strong defender of freedom of speech, so here's a question for you. Do you think there should be laws against Holocaust denial in countries like Israel and some European countries? It's not one that I think anyone can automatically support freedom of speech withouot thinking long and hard about what it is they're supporting. After the physical killing of a genocide has finished, there's a final stage, and that's denial. This happens with every genocide. The group that was the victim is victimised again by being told that they made it all up, and the deniers are perpetrators of the genocide even if they're not murdering anyone. When it comes to the Holocaust, there's an argument that shutting them up without rebutting them might make people wonder if there's something to what they say, and that it's generally pretty easy to pull their flimsy arguments down. But the problem is that in the US, where it's not illegal, historians understandably ignore them as not being worth wasting their time on, and the very few times they have rated even a mention in serious publications, they use it as some sort of validation and use those mentions to try to pass themselves off as serious historians. So, should something like that be protected by the whole freedom of speech thing?

Violet...
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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. kicking for pelsar...
I hope the question wasn't too difficult or anything....

Violet...
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-11-06 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. free speach cant be illegal.....
Edited on Sat Mar-11-06 11:33 PM by pelsar
even when it comes to the Holocaust and other genocides......I do believe political parties can be disqualified (as in kach)...at the sametime they should have the right to scream out their hate message. (it was jewish lawyers that defended the nazis right to march in skoki, ill, USA years ago- and I believe they were right)

its not so much that i like those hate messages, i tend to put them in the same catagory as the religious messages-both disgust me to no end....yet i will defend both, an israeli arab who denouces jews as monkeys, a rabid settler who calls for transfer.

its really that simple....starting with censorship has no end, its best to teach tolerance. There will always be those that hate, we cant let them dictate to us, what our values are....and thats whats its all about.

btw I dont even know if in israel if there is a law "denying the holoacaust" Israel is trying very hard to balance the two...and in general they're doing a good job..but its a very slippery slope......and every little addition drops us down a bit.

Now there is a gray area, where incitement comes along (fire in the theater...threatening to kill, perhaps promoting transfer as well)..and there our judges have to be able to interpret. But as you mentioned in the US where its not illegal, there is no big deal about denying the Holocaust....they're not news and just like other fanatics they kept on the back pages. Its when we censor something in an attempt to deny it....then it becomes news. And that is the solution....education of tolerence, freedom of speach and expression is the ONLY way. (the emphises is on freedom)

Censorship is opening a "can of worms". If the holocaust can be denied than so too can forbidding a image of the prophet...and if that is illegal so too are plays and movies that depict him...and if that is illegal so too are images of christ..and so on and so forth.

yea, i'm a big defender of free speach, free expression....i may hate some of the POS ...but the other alternative is far worse.

and years ago when Benjamin Kahane,was killed by terrorists (rabbi kahanes son).....i really cant say i felt bad...people who promote hate, through intolerence (for that is what intolerence is all about)......have no place in a western society.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. Whether or not
Americans believe in Freedom of Speech at all costs is immaterial. The fact is that the first Amendment to the Constitution pretty much guarantees it. I think that age old argument that the best antidote to bad speech is more speech, is a good one, as is the hoary chestnut that sunshine is the best disinfectant.
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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. very few other countries have that first Amendment...
and they're busy trying to balance the impossible: censorship vs freedom of expression.....which cant be done. This is a case of standing up for one of the wests more cherished ideals, the freedom of ideas and self expression, without those, society simply reverts back to the middle ages.
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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 03:18 AM
Response to Original message
5. Shas 'heaven' broadcast banned
Religious party's TV political broadcast shows spiritual head Rabbi Ovadia Yosef promising a place in heaven to those who vote for Shas; Party Chairman Eli Yishai slams decision by 'those who silence the words of the Torah and representative of worldview of hatred and destruction of Judaism'

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3226456,00.ht...

<snip>

"Central Elections Committee Chairwoman Judge Dorit Beinish banned a Shas political ad on Saturday evening, in which a place in heaven for voters of Shas was promised after their death by the party's spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

Beinish said that the broadcast constitutes banned content. She took the decision despite the fact that no petitions had been submitted against the ad.

Following the decision, Shas Chairman Eli Yishai bitterly attacked the decision, and in light of Purim, even used a hinted comparison to draw parallels between Beinish and Haman (the villain in the story of Purim).

"Those who silence the words of the Torah are the representatives of a world view which leans on hatred and the destruction of Judaism. I'm happy to hear that the judge believes in heaven and prevented the Israeli people from hearing the rabbi speaking about it," said Yishai.

He added: "The chairwoman of the thought police bans Jewish messages without petitions being made against them, and these are anti-Jewish things from the school of Shinui, which suit the 1930s. I am pained by the fact that in the state of Jews there are those seeking to censor, destroy, and lose the words of the Torah, and the Israeli people will not give a helping hand to this. Shas voters won't bow down to the judge, and that's why Rabbi Ovadia is saying again that those who vote for Shas will see heaven."



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pelsar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-12-06 04:08 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. so where does it end?....
Edited on Sun Mar-12-06 04:09 AM by pelsar
censorship...now some charlatan cant even promise eternal happiness to his flock......
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