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Growing Thought Control in Israel

By       Message Stephen Lendman       (Page 1 of 5 pages)     Permalink

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Growing Thought Control in Israel - by Stephen Lendman


Since its 1948 establishment, IDF military censor authority banned or sanitized material potentially damaging to Israel's security. Thereafter, voluntary media/government agreements prevailed, all domestic and foreign news organizations abiding by censorship rulings.


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Some are sensible like banning reports beneficial to adversaries. Others aren't by suppressing information the public has a right to know. For example, whatever affects their welfare and when officials commit crimes. In addition, various Supreme Court decisions limit content suppression to "tangible (or) near certain" instances of public endangerment. Of course, interpretations are crucial, authorities increasingly hardline to get their way.


It shows up in prohibited protests, free expression erosion against government policies, a booklet about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights because freedom of religion and asylum-seeker protection is included, suppressing nonviolent resistance, promoting patriotism over truth, attacking academic freedom, and sanitizing history among other ways, the latter issue addressed in an August 31 Haaretz editorial headlined, "Educating toward indoctrination," saying:

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Frequent Education Ministry school curricula changes "share one common denominator....the same kind of crass, shallow patriotism that glosses over any complicated issue, forcing students to swallow the same rote, sanitized version of the multifaceted, paradoxical Israeli story (while) silenc(ing) all critical thought."


History books have been rewritten. Nakba teaching is banned, Netanyahu once calling its use tantamount to spreading propaganda against Israel. Yet for Palestinians, it's their defining issue, the catastrophic mass slaughter and theft of their homeland. Not taught in Jewish schools, it was introduced in Arab Israeli ones in 2007 for children aged eight and nine.


In July 2009, Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar's spokesman, Yisrael Twito, said:

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"After studying the matter with education experts it was decided that the term nakba should be removed. It is inconceivable that in Israel we would talk about the establishment of the state as a catastrophe."


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