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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/6/17

The remedy for Israeli government corruption? Gag orders!

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  • Knesset (parliament) oversight of state affairs is perceived as impotent.

  • There is also lack of confidence, relative to conduct of the judiciary in major corruption cases.

    It appears that the reflexive response of all state agencies is circling the wagons in order to keep the public in the dark.

    The current gag order is officially justified by a desire to prevent perversion of the investigations. However, it is clear that media and a large number of government officers are all privy to the information; therefore, such justification appears unreasonable. Israeli media described conduct of Judge Einat Ron, who issued the gag-order as "ongoing gagging of media reporting", and "rubber stamping police requests".

    The practice of issuing gag orders to cover up embarrassing state affairs has reached new heights in recent years:

    • In June 2017 media reported a new record -- 6 gag orders were issued within 24 hours. [iii]

    • For May 2017 media reported that 54 gag orders were issued within the month. [iv]

    • In December 2016 media reported that the vast majority of the ex parte gag orders requests are granted by the courts. [v]

    • In December 2016 media reported a 3-fold increase in the number of gag orders over the past 15 years. [vi]

    In some cases, an overriding gag order is issued, prohibiting the publication of the existence of a gag order. In practice, gag orders have replaced the old military censorship.

    In parallel, the Israeli courts conduct closed doors hearings in a growing number of cases with no foundation in the law. [vii]

    In addition, the Israeli government has established extensive systems for controlling and managing online content in collusion with US-based corporations -- Facebook, Google, Twitter -- and US agencies. [viii]

    Separately, Netanyahu established a trollers' unit under the PM office to control and influence social-media discussions in matters pertaining to himself and his interests. [ix] More recently, Israeli government issued a call for proposals for automatic or semi-automatic systems to interfere with social-network discussions and plant discussion ideas.

    (Image by Public - State of Israel)   Details   DMCA

    Figure. March 2017 call for proposals: "Buzzila" - a system for social-network monitoring and "automatic or semi-automatic planting of ideas in social network, news sites and forums discourse in Hebrew, other basic languages... as well as Japanese, Persian, Mandarin, Turkish." [x]


    Quid pro quo with a media mogul is one of the scandals, where indictment of Netanyahu is expected.

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