Netanyahu: Bill To Ban Free Newspapers ‘Shames The Knesset’


yisrael-hayomIsraeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu blasted legislation seeking to outlaw free newspapers in Israel, walking out of Wednesday’s preliminary vote on the bill.

The Israeli Knesset came out in favor of a bill intended to shut down the free newspaper Israel Hayom. Netanyahu said the 43-23 vote (with nine abstentions) “shames the Knesset,” according to footage by Knesset Channel television cameras.

Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz told the Knesset, “Those who today support the closing of a newspaper are causing fundamental harm to Israeli democracy.”

The bill, proposed by MK Eitan Cabel (Labor), would ban daily newspapers in Israel whose business model includes free distribution to the general public. That is the model behind the success of Israel Hayom, the country’s most widely read daily newspaper.

According to market research by the Target Group Index (TGI), Israel Hayom has been the top-read daily newspaper in Israel for more than four years. The latest TGI survey on the subject, released in July, said Israel Hayom has a 39.8-percent market share-more than five percentage points higher than the next-highest-read print newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth. Arnon (Noni) Mozes, the publisher of Yedioth Ahronoth, is rumored to be behind the anti-Israel Hayom bill.

“It should be obvious to anyone who reads about this that the amount of power Yediot Achronot publisher Noni Mozes has is unspeakable. He can tailor a bill just so he can eliminate competition,” Sheldon Adelson, the owner of Yisrael Hayom, said in an interview with his newspaper earlier this year.


{ Israel}


  1. The only “democracy in the middle east”?huh?

    The most amusing element of all this that some are surprised

    Some arab countries have greater freedom of the press

  2. ‘The bill meant to “protect and promote printed press in Israel” may very well deal a serious blow to freedom of the press and the constitutional rights of freedom, equality, freedom of occupation, and free competition, all of which are the cornerstones of democracy.

    The bill’s proponents say they support it in the name of free speech, while they grossly contradict the principles of free expression and occupation’


  3. As I Please
    Tribune, 4 February 1944

    When Sir Walter Raleigh was imprisoned in the Tower of London, he occupied himself with writing a history of the world. He had finished the first volume and was at work on the second when there was a scuffle between some workmen beneath the window of his cell, and one of the men was killed. In spite of diligent enquiries, and in spite of the fact that he had actually seen the thing happen, Sir Walter was never able to discover what the quarrel was about; whereupon, so it is said — and if the story is not true it certainly ought to be — he burned what he had written and abandoned his project.

    This story has come into my head I do not know how many times during the past ten years, but always with the reflection that Raleigh was probably wrong. Allowing for all the difficulties of research at that date, and the special difficulty of conducting research in prison, he could probably have produced a world history which had some resemblance to the real course of events. Up to a fairly recent date, the major events recorded in the history books probably happened. It is probably true that the battle of Hastings was fought in 1066, that Columbus discovered America, that Henry VIII had six wives, and so on. A certain degree of truthfulness was possible so long as it was admitted that a fact may be true even if you don’t like it. Even as late as the last war it was possible for the Encyclopedia Britannica, for instance, to compile its articles on the various campaigns partly from German sources. Some of the facts — the casualty figures, for instance — were regarded as neutral and in substance accepted by everybody. No such thing would be possible now. A Nazi and a non-Nazi version of the present war would have no resemblance to one another, and which of them finally gets into the history books will be decided not by evidential methods but on the battlefield.

    During the Spanish civil war I found myself feeling very strongly that a true history of this war never would or could be written. Accurate figures, objective accounts of what was happening, simply did not exist. And if I felt that even in 1937, when the Spanish Government was still in being, and the lies which the various Republican factions were telling about each other and about the enemy were relatively small ones, how does the case stand now? Even if Franco is overthrown, what kind of records will the future historian have to go upon? And if Franco or anyone at all resembling him remains in power, the history of the war will consist quite largely of “facts” which millions of people now living know to be lies. One of these “facts,” for instance, is that there was a considerable Russian army in Spain. There exists the most abundant evidence that there was no such army. Yet if Franco remains in power, and if Fascism in general survives, that Russian army will go into the history books and future school children will believe in it. So for practical purposes the lie will have become truth.

    This kind of thing is happening all the time. Out of the milions of instances which must be available, I will choose one which happens to be verifiable. During part of 1941 and 1942, when the Luftwaffe was busy in Russia, the German radio regaled its home audiences with stories of devestating air raids on London. Now, we are aware that those raids did not happen. But what use would our knowledge be if the Germans conquered Britain? For the purposes of a future historian, did those raids happen, or didn’t they? The answer is: If Hitler survives, they happened, and if he falls they didn’t happen. So with innumerable other events of the past ten or twenty years. Is the Protocols of the Elders of Zion a genuine document? Did Trotsky plot with the Nazis? How many German aeroplanes were shot down in the Battle of Britain? Does Europe welcome the New Order? In no case do you get one answer which is universally accepted because it is true: in each case you get a number of totally incompatible answers, one of which is finally adopted as the result of a physical struggle. History is written by the winners