Friday, May 12, 2017

Netanyahu's War on Press Freedom

Netanyahu’s War on Press Freedom

by Stephen Lendman

US-led Western nations and Israel are on a slippery slope toward full-blown tyranny, police state ruthlessness replacing fundamental freedoms, a free press and right to dissent endangered.

Rogue states want their message alone reported, truth-telling on vital issues suppressed. US and other Western media operate as virtual press agents for power, reliable independent media outrageously called fake news.

In America, digital democracy is threatened, truth-telling assaulted. Trump’s FCC chairman Ajit Pai calls Net Neutrality’s days “numbered,” wanting an online level playing field for everyone abolished.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu shuttered Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) with less than two hours notice, ending a near half century of public broadcasting, a staple on Israeli television, its first news program - IBA to be replaced by Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation (IPBC).

On its final night, anchors openly wept. Journalists blasted the shutdown on air. The final broadcast ended with staff singing Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem, sounding more like a dirge because of grief felt by all.

Anchor Haim Yavin on air called closure of IBA and its Mabat news program “stupidity, idiocy, a crime…the whim of one man who happens to be the prime minister.”

Journalist Yaakov Ahimeir asked “(w)hat is this notice, two hours in advance? What are we, criminals?” The way it was done is a “stain” on Netanyahu’s already deplorable legacy.

Hundreds of newspersons and staff are out of work. As communications minister, as well as foreign minister and prime minister, Netanyahu oversaw enactment of a new broadcasting entity, government having more control over its editorial content, able to censor and suppress criticism of his hardline rule.

What’ll he shut down next - maybe any print or electronic news source criticizing his rogue governance!

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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