New Report on Israel Restricting Free Expression and Assembly - by Stephen Lendman
Israel's democracy is as hollow as America's.
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel assesses Israel's human and civil rights record annually. Its newly released 2011 report cites increasing crackdowns on basic freedoms. More on it below.
Losing free expression and assembly rights threatens others. They're basic ones Israel's High Court affirmed.
It said the "true test of freedom of expression lies in allowing the airing of views that are extreme, controversial, or infuriating." It's the state's obligation to protect them, including in public gatherings.
Israel ratified all core international human rights conventions relating to free association rights, including the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). It requires signatories to respect the right to life, due process, judicial fairness, free and open elections, and freedoms of expression, assembly and religion.
Free expression and assembly are basic rights in all democracies. Although not enshrined in Israeli Basic Law, they're recognized in case law. Former High Court President Justice Aharon Barak said:
(A) demonstration of a political or social character is a manifestation of the autonomy of individual will, freedom of choice and freedom of negation that are included in the framework of human dignity as a constitutional rights."
The Court also ruled: