Former Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner, who now heads the Israeli Council of Journalists, has called on the powers-to-be to prevent the closure of the bankrupt national religious newspaper Makkor Rishon that American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson wants to buy.

Adelson also owns the highly successful freebie Israel HaYom newspaper, which staunchly supported Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the Likud party.

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“Freedom in journalism is expressed in the variety in Israeli communications that is offered the widest range of opinions that is possible,” Dorner stated. She called Makkor Rishon a ”constructive” a voice for the national religious community and that it must not be allowed to close.

The judicial system has given Adelson the green light to buy the newspaper, which fell into heavy debts after its owner bought the Hebrew-language Maariv newspaper, but anti-trust officials have blocked the purchase, without outright opposing it.

Its failure to decide, while the newspaper is barely operating, is considered in most quarters a tactic to choke the newspaper to death so that Adelson will not have more influence in Israel

Several so-called “liberal” Knesset Members have come up with a curve ball to force Adelson out of the country by proposing legislation that would prevent foreigners from owning free newspapers.

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