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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/13/10

Israeli Prohibitions Against Free Expression and "Enemy Alien" Contacts

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Free expression in all forms is a fundamental democratic freedom without which all others are at risk. It includes free speech, a free press, freedom of thought, culture, and intellectual inquiry, and the right to challenge government authority peacefully, especially in times of war and cases of injustice, lawlessness, official incompetence, and abusive government behavior.

Israel has no constitution and no specific laws guaranteeing equality or free expression. Yet its Basic Laws protect human dignity and liberty as fundamental values in "a Jewish and democratic state" and more, including:

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-- "no violation of the life, body or dignity of any person;"

-- their property;

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-- no restricting their liberty by imprisonment, arrest, extradition or otherwise;

-- the right to privacy; and

-- much more, including a traditionally mostly free and open media within limits.

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For the most part, they're free to report accurately on events and provide a broad range of views, independent of official policies. Haaretz writers Amira Hass and Gideon Levy do it gallantly. Some others occasionally, and overall the paper, and some others, deliver content never found in the mainstream US press or sources like the BBC, notorious for its pro-Israeli bias and sweeping pseudo-journalism in service to the UK government that owns it.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.
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