Sunday, November 20, 2011

Maayan Lubell and Reuters get perspiry about new Israeli bills to discourage foreign subversion, liberalize libel laws

The Israeli government is considering several new legislative bills, one of which is intended to make it more difficult for foreign governments and other agents to subvert internal Israeli politics by funding anti-Israel NGOs.  The other bill is written to liberalize Israel's libel laws, making it easier for plaintiffs to sue for damages and to collect larger awards when successful.  The possibility of legislative changes like these makes Maayan Lubell and the other journallibelers at Reuters quite nervous:
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put on hold on Sunday legislation to limit foreign funding of non-governmental organisations, a government source said, after critics denounced the bill as a bid to mute left-wing groups [...]
The measure, proposed by members of Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party, has touched off a public debate in Israel on whether his government is stifling democratic freedoms and trying to muzzle critics of its policies towards Palestinians [...]
In Tel Aviv, Israeli journalists convened what they called an emergency conference on Sunday in response to proposed amendments to the country's libel laws and what organisers said were assaults against freedom of the press.
Such legislation would be very bad news indeed for radical left-wing journalists who regularly employ every dirty trick in the book to push the Palestinian Arab agenda and tear down the Jews of Israel.

Yet while Lubell and her cronies are aghast at what they call "assaults against freedom of the press" in Israel, the nation where Reuters is based and where a large number of the agency's correspondents hail from, lived, worked or trained at one time or another -- the UK -- has the most draconian libel laws in the world.

A few years ago for example, Saudi billionaire, Khalid bin Mahfouz sued academic scholar Rachel Ehrenfeld for libel in the British courts following an evidentiary assertion in her book, Funding Evil, that Mahfouz had financed al Qaeda through his bank and charitable organizations.  Despite the fact that Ehrenfeld's book was not even published in the UK (23 copies were purchased online by British customers), the English judge found, with Ehrenfeld in absentia, for Mahfouz and ordered Ehrenfeld to pay monetary damages, issue an apology, and destroy existing copies of her book.

We don't recall the civil libertarians at Reuters raising a fuss on behalf of Dr. Ehrenfeld at the time.

Note also how, in an effort to suggest that the Israeli government is targeting the left-wing, Lubell calls attention to the closure of a radio station, operating without a permit and broadcasting Palestinian propaganda:
On Thursday, Israeli authorities shut down an Israeli-Palestinian radio station, "All For Peace", based in the occupied West Bank. A spokesman for Israel's Communications Office said it was a pirate station operating illegally.
But the station's Israeli director, Mossi Raz, said the order was aimed at silencing critics of Netanyahu's right-wing government.
Lubell doesn't mention that the government similarly shut down the politically conservative Arutz Sheva radio station for operating without a permit in 2003.

As is always the case with the Israel-hating left, and particularly with Reuters, what's sauce for the goose is apparently not sauce for the gander.

1 comment:

  1. Maayan Lubell signed the Refuse supporters petition, see here name(number 40016):