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November 12, 2014 1:32 pm

Netanyahu: Bill to Ban Free Newspapers ‘Shames the Knesset’

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Distribution of the Israel Hayom newspaper in Jerusalem. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – Prime Minister Benjamin 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 Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Noni Mozes has is unspeakable. He can tailor a bill just so he can eliminate competition,” Sheldon Adelson, the owner of Israel Hayom, said in an interview with his newspaper earlier this year.

Full disclosure: syndicates the English-language content of Israel Hayom.

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  • Freedom of Speech Limitations

    If you are in a theatre and you yell fire, when there is no fire and cause injuries to the audience at large by your yelling fire you have forfeited you right to free speech.

    The same applies to anyone who promotes violence, incites the public to violence and sedition, Uses his freedom of speech to promote treason against the State.

    Israel has bent over backward in protecting the right to free speech.

    It is time for Israel to go on the offensive and utilize its laws to prosecute those who abuse their right to free speech, that right has its limitations.

    We must hold Arab-Palestinians accountable for teaching hate, honoring terrorist and celebrating terror attacks.

    Any capitulation or concessions to Arab-Palestinians demands breeds greater outrageous demands and more violence.

    What a delusion and irony – Mahmoud Abbas the murdering terrorist of innocent civilians and creator of fiction and delusion.
    Arab-Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas financed the Abu Daoud/Black September terror cell to murder 11 Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich in 1972. He has a warrant for his arrest in Germany and a murder conviction in Italy with life in prison. Abbas the head of the Arab-Palestinian Authority is also the master mind of the Achille Lauro, on 11 October 1985 they thru a wheelchair bound Jew in to the ocean to die. There is a reward on his head by the United States. This is the person you want to make peace with – how delusional can people be.
    France and other countries can vote to recognize an Arab Palestinian State in Jordan which was originally allocated to the Jewish people in the 1920 San Remo Treaty of which terms are in affect today, but the British violated their position as trustee for the Jewish people and gave four fifths of allocated Jewish land to the Arabs.