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Censorship & Freedom of Information

In Israel, military censorship, gag orders, state press accreditation, and more, limit and stymie an honest public democratic discourse on a range of issues, usually in the name of security. In Palestine, the — often physical — assault on free speech comes from both Israeli and Palestinian authorities, and has even more dire consequences.

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  • ‘A legal shield for the Palestine movement in the U.S.’

  • Israeli body that accredits journalists honored for propaganda

  • Palestinian journalists the latest victim of Hamas-Fatah rivalry

  • Israel's empty threat to 'shut down' Al Jazeera

  • Extremist rabbi indicted for incitement against Palestinians

  • Israel expels Dutch journalist after he tweets +972 articles

  • Report: Sharp spike in repression of Palestinian journalists

    Two new reports document the growing repression of Palestinian journalists by Israeli forces last year. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Israel is currently imprisoning the same number of journalists as the Syrian regime. By Oren Persico Palestinian journalists have been subject to a severe increase in violations by Israeli security forces over the past several months, according to a report published by MADA — Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms last week. MADA, a Ramallah-based Palestinian NGO that tracks violations against Palestinian journalists, found 27 cases in which the rights of Palestinian journalists were violated by Israeli forces in November, as…

  • Former IDF ethicist tapped to censor 'political speech' in Israeli universities

    Professor Asa Kasher, whose code of ethics for the IDF found expression in the devastation of the 2014 Gaza war, is set to decide what lecturers at Israel's universities and colleges can and can't say. Education Minister Naftali Bennett intends to lay down new “ethical rules” for what lecturers at Israel's centers of higher learning can and can’t say regarding politics, Haaretz reported on Thursday. The move is the latest in a long line of Bennett initiatives aimed at making Israel's academic institutions more right-wing, more Zionist and more — as he would see it — loyal to the state. Israeli lecturers, spooked by the prospect of…

  • Because BDS, Israeli archeologists want West Bank work kept secret

    An Israeli court rejects a freedom of information request for the names of archeologists digging, under IDF license, in the occupied territories, and where Israel is storing the antiquities they uncover. The reason: so they don't face academic boycott. The Jerusalem District Court on Monday refused to reveal the names of archeologists performing digs at antiquities sites in the occupied West Bank, as is the practice of the Israel Antiquities Authority inside the Green Line. The reason: the archeologists' (and the State’s) fear of academic boycotts, and the difficulties it would pose for ongoing (Israeli) archeological projects in the occupied…

  • Israel's surefire way of keeping its citizens in the dark

    The Israeli establishment used to rely on the IDF Censor to make sure the media didn't ask questions. Nowadays it uses court-sanctioned gag orders. By Shuki Tausig Did you hear about…and about…or what about…how could you have missed that? After all, we are talking about newsworthy events, the kind that open the 8 o'clock news. So how come you didn't hear about them? [tmwinpost] You didn't hear about them because the police/Shin Bet/some other body rushed to ask the court to issue a gag order on the attack/investigation/affair. The courts usually serve as a rubber stamp in these cases, especially in cases when…

  • IDF Censor redacts 1 in 5 articles it reviews for publication

    The Israeli military censor has redacted, in full or in part, over 17,000 articles since 2011. While fewer articles have been censored in 2015 and 2016, the new IDF Censor is attempting to redact already-published information with alarming frequency. The Israeli Military Censor has outright banned the publication of 1,936 articles and redacted some information from 14,196 articles over the past five years. That is 1,936 articles that professional journalists and editors decided were of public interest but which never saw the light of day. In fact, the IDF Censor redacted at least some information from one in five articles submitted to it…

  • Palestinian journalist jailed by Israel was arrested for criticizing PA, lawyer says

    Israel has been holding Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal without charge or trial for over four months. In an interview, his attorney says that is because he criticized the PA over its handling of an assassination at its embassy in Bulgaria. By Oren Persico and Nimrod Halberthal This past April, Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal set out to travel from his home in the West Bank to a conference of the European Federation of Journalists in Sarajevo. Until about a year ago, Nazzal, 53, was the head of the West Bank-based radio station “Palestine al-Youm,” but left a short while before the station was shut down…

  • Gag order extended as police refuse to release CCTV footage of Qalandiya killing

    A Palestinian mother of two and her 16-year-old brother were shot and killed by Israeli security guards at Qalandiya checkpoint in April, even though eyewitnesses say they posed no risk. The police refuse to release the CCTV footage – maybe they know something we don’t? By John Brown* More than four months after a shooting at Qalandiya checkpoint that left dead a Palestinian woman and her 16-year-old brother, the Jerusalem Magistrates' Court on Monday upheld Israel Police's request to extend a gag order on the details of the affair and identity of the suspects by another month. The police said that Maram…

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