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censorship

  • Israel's state archivist opens up about censorship, digitization

    Israel’s state archivist confirms that nearly half a million pages have been sent to the IDF Censor, which has redacted historical documents that already saw the light of day, and talks about why he didn’t foresee the storm that erupted over his decision to end access to paper documents. Israel’s state archivist did not foresee the storm that erupted this week over his decision to end public access to the Israel State Archives’ physical documents as part of a otherwise welcomed digitization process. Historians, academics and civil liberties groups are worried by the lack of public debate surrounding the changes,…

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  • After Facebook, Israeli army censor discovers WhatsApp

    A few weeks after it began expanding its reach into 'new media' outlets, the IDF Censor is now demanding that police and first responders allow it to supervise information they pass on to journalists through WhatsApp. The move represents a new, secondary layer of prior restraint. The IDF Censor is demanding that spokespeople for the Israel Police and other first responders allow it to supervise information they pass along to journalists via mobile messaging app WhatsApp, according to a report by Army Radio Tuesday. The demand appears to be yet another step in the new chief IDF Censor’s attempts to…

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  • A letter to our readers: On censorship

    From military censorship to the government deciding who is and isn't a journalist, Israeli authorities use various tools to interfere with the press. An important disclosure to our readers. When +972 Magazine was formed by a group of journalists and bloggers over five years ago, its founders decided that the site would not have an editorial line or political agenda save for three common denominators to which everyone was willing to commit: human rights, opposing the occupation, and freedom of information. The first two values are likely evident to almost anyone who stumbles across +972 Magazine, and certainly to regular…

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  • Israeli left-wing activist denied access to lawyer, to be held for another week

    A gag order bars publishing any identifying information about the activist, who was arrested at Ben Gurion Airport a day earlier. The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday extended by one week the arrest remand of a well known left-wing Israeli activist. The court also barred him from meeting his lawyer. The activist was arrested at Ben Gurion Airport Monday, although there was no legal barrier to him from leaving the country prior to his arrest. [tmwinpost] The man, whose identity is under gag order, is being held on suspicion of being in contact with a foreign agent. He was the…

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  • Police target second 'Breaking the Silence' event in a week

    Senior police brass hound venue over minor business license violations. Police shut down a similar Breaking the Silence event last week citing right-wing threats against it. For the second time in a week, Israeli police have imposed restrictions on Breaking the Silence lectures scheduled to take place in private venues. The owners of those venues and Breaking the Silence claim police are silencing the organization’s message in a way that serves the right wing in Israel. Breaking the Silence is an organization of former IDF soldiers that collects and distributes soldier testimonies about the occupation in order to show Israeli…

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  • High Court upholds controversial 'boycott law'

    High Court rejects petition against the law, gives grounds to allows individuals who want to sue anyone calling for a boycott of Israel, or 'areas under its control.' The High Court rejected a petition by human rights organizations, upholding the controversial "boycott law" on Wednesday. The law give grounds for individuals to sue anyone who calls for a boycott of Israel, or areas under its control. The court struck down only one section of the law, which establishes that one may seek punitive damages for a deliberate call to boycott without needing to prove actual damages. It appears that one…

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  • Bill aims to strip citizenship, curb speech — a bellwether of Israel's Right

    A senior Likud MK is proposing to suspend much of Israeli democracy. His bill has zero chance of passing muster, but it does show where the Israeli Right thinks the future of the conflict lies.  MK Yariv Levin (Likud), chairman of the House Parliamentary Committee, is pushing a new directive — temporary legislation — to "combat terrorism" that amounts to perhaps the most sweepingly anti-democratic legislative project in recent years, whether implemented or proposed. The directive is extraordinarily harsh even by Israeli measure, and is almost certainly unconstitutional on several levels. It is meant to apply both to the occupied Palestinian territories and…

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  • An invitation to Israel's thought police: Haul me in

    A Palestinian man from East Jerusalem is summoned by Israeli police for a Facebook status describing his city as occupied. It has been a month since I last visited Occupied Jerusalem. By writing those words, I may be hastening my return to the city, albeit involuntarily. This week, a Palestinian resident of Occupied East Jerusalem was summoned by Israeli police for describing the city’s mayor, Nir Barkat, as the “mayor of the occupation,” Haaretz reported. East Jerusalem was occupied by Israeli forces on June 7, 1967. Later that month, some 70 square kilometers of Palestinian East Jerusalem and the West…

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  • Hundreds gather to support politically 'persecuted' teacher

    Some 500 high school students and teachers demonstrated at the entrance to the town of Kiryat Tivon Saturday night to show their support for Adam Verete, a local teacher who is facing possible sacking over proclaiming his left-wing political views in class. The usually tranquil town of Kiryat Tivon, just outside of Haifa, was rattled this past week over the local ORT high school's attempts to fire philosophy teacher Adam Verete following a student's accusations that he made derogatory remarks against the IDF and the State of Israel. The story was all over the national news with Verete's students and colleagues…

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  • Why Israel will continue trying to keep 'Prisoner X' a secret

    If the reports -- and unraveling details -- about Ben Zygier's work with the Mossad are true, Israel has every reason to try and keep his existence and identity a secret, however superflous those efforts may be. As details about the life, work and untimely demise of ‘Prisoner X’ unravel, the most intriguing unanswered questions remain: why did Israel secretly imprison him and why he is dead? But the details of the story appear to be making one thing clear; Israel’s security services likely had every reason in the world to (try to) keep the affair and Ben Zygier’s identity…

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  • Disappearing articles and the dead prisoner affair ('Mr. X'): A timeline

    UPDATE, Wednesday 9.00 AM: The censorship ban on the ABC report regarding the arrest and death of Australian born Ben Zygier was lifted, and this morning the Israeli media is publishing the details in Hebrew. Here is the ABC report: In June 2010 Ynet, Israel’s largest online news site, posted a story on an unknown prisoner held in confinement in Ayalon Prison. The story was then removed from the site, but the account is still available in the Israeli blogosphere. In December 2010 American blogger Richard Silverstein claimed that the prisoner was an Iranian general named Ali-Reza Asgari, supposedly abducted by the Mossad. A…

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  • A week in photos: August 22-29

    Demolitions and arrests in the West Bank, solidarity with Rachel Corrie's family, preparing for war, and more. Activestills images tell the stories of the week. Activestills is a collective of Israeli, international and Palestinian photographers, united by a conviction that photography is a vehicle for political and social change. To stay updated on our latest images, like Activestills on Facebook  or follow @activestills on Twitter. You can also visit our flickr photostream.

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  • Facebook censors cartoons against racism, capitalism

    The comic artist Mysh is one of my favorites in Israel. His work is not only conscious and critical, but also brilliantly drawn and at times, extremely funny. Last year I posted here his "Israeli Machine" video, which captured the hope I saw in the J14 movement more than any 1000-word essay I have written on this issue. Mysh's drawings have since turned more critical and dark, reflecting the change in the national mood as the summer of hope turned into an Israeli winter. Yet some of those recent works have been incredibly popular on Facebook, shared and liked by…

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+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. It was launched in August 2010, resulting from a merger of a number of popular English-language blogs dealing with life and politics in Israel and Palestine.

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Illustrations: Eran Mendel