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Monday, November 23, 2009

Government censor barring publication of Shalit reports

In his personal blog, Channel 10 newscaster Raviv Drucker accuses the government censor of stifling reports on the negotiations to free kidnapped IDF corporal Gilad Shalit for no reason (link in Hebrew, translation below).
The censor favors a deal for Shalit

I have no idea when the Shalit deal will be brought to the cabinet, but I'm willing to guess how chief censor Sima Waknin - Gil would vote were she given a vote. Strongly in favor. Well, it's her right. Excuse me, but absolutely not. As the chief censor, she is forbidden to use censorship to promote or thwart the deal. The role of censorship is to forbid publications that are quite likely to harm state security. Its role is not to forbid publications that in its opinion may harm the deal. The censorship has forbidden the publication of much information about Shalit, which is unrelated to state security, which leaves us exposed almost exclusively to information from Arab media outlets, some of which have already released Shalit.

Does execution of the Shalit deal contribute to state security?

Maybe or maybe not, but this is really not a question that the censor is qualified to answer. The opposite is true. She needs to recognize that it is not her role to block publications that might hurt the deal. The censor is not meant to be a person who carries out the policies of the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister. It is clear that she must pay attention to their wishes, but with all of the personal difficulty there are cases when the censor must say, "sorry, I cannot help."

The fact that a lot of information has been blocked from publication by Israeli sources is helping to mobilize public support for the deal, which support we may regret in the future (as is known, I oppose the deal in its current form).

For those who were not aware of it until now, Israel has a military censor that is entitled to prevent publication of reports that are likely to damage state security.


At 3:11 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

One wonders if an exchange deal is imminent. My guess is soon or else the government wouldn't be censoring reporting on it.

That doesn't change my position once. It would be a political and moral disaster and set a precedent for generations to come. Schalit's release shouldn't be at the expense of endangering the country and thwarting justice for the victims of Arab terror.


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