The Libel Law: a threat to Israeli democracy?

Comments (8)
  1. Tomer Elias says:

    I seriously couldn’t get myself to read pass the point were you started to compare this to South Africa, mainly due to the fact that you completely misunderstand and make a destructive mess with your interpretation of Israeli politics and the public opinion on this law.

    Lets start with your first problem Haaretz’s.
    Haaretz in not a popular newspaper in Israel, to the contrary it is one of the most notorious Israeli news papers. It leans to the far right and has a very bad reputation for falsification of facts and misleading truths on events to make it fit its agenda. A very clear post Zionist agenda that has an issue with the Netanyahu government.

    Public opinion raised by the law or public backlash? Almost non existent if you ask the average Israeli that is fed up with the way Israeli journalists can completely destroy someone and hold almost no accountability when it is found to be false accusation. Which has become a serious issue in the day to day media reports in recent years.
    The outrage that is being expressed against the law is coming mainly from the Journalists themselves and from small portions of the Israel left. The real Public has its faith in the Israeli press on the decline. Many see this as a positive step to keep the journalists at bay and force them to stop the sloppiness that has plagued the Israeli media.

    This leads of back to Haaretz, which is known to be one of the most irresponsible news organizations in Israel. They have a clear agenda against this Law. It will undermine their ability carelessly use their power at the expense of others and force them to put more effort into their reporting. Same with the other major news organizations. All of them have lost the public support because of their relentless attacks on those that oppose their agenda. In fact that has been a much greater harm to freedom of speech and democracy. If it isn’t their opinion it is slandered and if it harms their agenda it quieted down.

    If you can read hebrew I advise you to read this column by and Israeli journalist that writes for Maarive. He talked about his fellow journalists and how they are they ones that are trying to destroy Israels democracy.

    And to add something for the end.
    Before you ever dare compare Israel to another country and call this an article. You should do more indebted research on Israeli society. And if you do feel like criticizing try being a true journalist and try to make it less obvious where your opinion lays. If you put some more effort into understanding Israeli society you would have found a better argument for the law then just a bunch of right wing politicians try to undermine the lefts on Israeli public opinion.

  2. I forgot to add this: Joshua Friedlander is a student at Machon Lev in Jerusalem, Israel.

  3. joshfriedlander says:

    Thanks for the feedback Tomer. One or two points in response:
    I did use Ha’aretz’s headline as an opening hook, but my article was not based on their coverage. As I mentioned further down, it is unquestionably slanted.
    I researched this article on both Hebrew- and English-language websites, representing the right and the left, and endeavoured to give a balanced portrayal of the issue.
    There has been a public response to the law in Israel, not just from journalists. In fact, the idea for this piece came from some comments I heard from a “sabra” (native-born Israeli) friend of mine.
    I’m puzzled by your comment that it is “obvious” where my opinion lies. I am far from sure myself.
    Again, I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I do live in Israel as it happens, and can testify to its vibrant and democratic nature. However, the right to free speech should never be taken for granted. We would do well to maintain vigilance at all times for any slight infringements on it – whether from the right, or the left.

  4. admin says:

    looks like one law firm is taking the israeli libel laws global!
    we just received mail of an impending suit if we don’t tow the israeli legal line. whateever that is 😉

  5. Josh Friedlander says:

    If you don’t live in Israel I don’t think you have anything to worry about. (See this: )