web analytics
July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Bill To Ban Free Israeli Newspapers Faces Strong Pushback

With the Knesset now in session, a highly controversial bill has drawn the ire of Knesset members, legal experts, media watchdog organizations, free speech activists and journalists.

The measure, called the “bill for the promotion and protection of the printed media in Israel” but informally known as the “anti-Israel Hayom bill,” is set to be brought before Israel’s powerful Ministerial Committee for Legislation in the coming weeks. The proposal seeks to outlaw daily newspapers in Israel whose business model includes free distribution to the general public.

There is little doubt that the bill’s initiators, from on both on the left and the right, are specifically targeting the Sheldon Adelson-owned newspaper Israel Hayom, whose free-distribution strategy has in recent years taken away a significant number of readers from its competition.

The text of the bill, submitted by MK Eitan Cabel (Labor) and co-signed by Yoel Razbozov (Yesh Atid), Robert Ilatov (Likud Beiteinu), Elazar Stern (Hatnua), Ariel Attias (Shas), and Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi), claims that the measure seeks to “strengthen written journalism in Israel and ensure equal and fair conditions of competition between newspapers,” according to a Jerusalem Post translation.

But Professor Eli Pollak, chairman of Israel’s Media Watch (IMW), which calls itself the leading Israeli media watchdog organization, said the bill represents exactly the opposite of its stated goal.

“This legislation is anti-liberal and makes no sense in a free market where anyone can do what they want as long as it’s legal and ethical,” Pollak told JNS. “It’s fair competition. There is no reason to try and close [Israel Hayom] down or stop their way of working.”

MK Shaked recently admitted to a Channel 2 television interviewer that the bill “won’t pass.” Analysts suggested Shaked, along with her party’s chairman, Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennett, initially supported the bill from the political right since it essentially targeted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Israel Hayom has been accused of pro-Netanyahu bias.

“Israel Hayom is not a newspaper. It is Pravda,” Bennett said in March, referring to the Russian political newspaper associated with the Communist Party. “It’s the mouthpiece of one person, the prime minister.”

IMW’s Pollak said there is “no question the legislation is politically motivated.”He noted that “for years Yediot [Aharanot], which calls itself ‘the newspaper of the country,’ had a monopoly and nobody cared.”

“But,” he added, “when Yediot’s and Haaretz’s [market] shares went down and other newspapers including Israel Hayom and Makor Rishon went up, that posed a problem for those that don’t want right-wing opinions to be heard.”

A 2011 Target Group Index survey revealed that four years after its inception, Israel Hayom’s readership had surpassed that of Yediot – formerly Israel’s most widely read daily newspaper – with a 39.3-percent market share compared to Yediot’s 37 percent. Yediot remained the most-read weekend newspaper.

The latest TGI survey, released in January, showed Israel Hayomremaining the country’s most-read daily, with 38.6-percent readership (compared to 38.4 percent for Yediot) in the second half of 2013.

Pollak cites MK Cabel’s political bias in going after Israel Hayom. He said Cabel was responsible for shutting down Arutz 7, the right-wing radio station in Beit El that in 2002 was denied a broadcasting license and had its studios raided and broadcasting equipment confiscated.

On the other hand, when Israel’s Channel 10 television station “was going to be closed down when it didn’t meet its financial commitments, [Cabel] defended it,” Pollak noted.

“This is a very clear political game, which won’t succeed because it’s wrong,” said Pollak. “In a democracy with freedom of the press and freedom of business, this can’t go through.”

Yossi Fuchs, a Ramat Gan attorney with 15 years of experience in Israeli constitutional law, agrees the bill will never pass.

About the Author: Josh Hasten is president of the Jerusalem-based Bar-Am public relations firm. He and his family are moving to Gush Etzion this summer.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Bill To Ban Free Israeli Newspapers Faces Strong Pushback”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
U.S. President Barack Obama
FAA Ban on Flights to Israel ‘Worse than BDS’
Latest News Stories
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) wants answers about the FAA ban on flights to Israel.

Sen Ted Cruz wants the administration to give straight answers to questions about the FAA ban on Israel.

U.S. President Barack Obama

Why is the ban on Israel’s airport different from all other FAA bans?

The new peace partners; Hams leader Khaleed Meshaal (L) and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas

Abbas adopts Hamas as peace partner, big brave Kerry scurries out of Israel despite FAA ban and Mashaal goes off his rocker.

Non-anti-Semitic flag in Auckland, New Zealand

Yet again, non-anti-Semitic ‘pro-Palestinian’ demonstrators can’t quite seem to break free of anti-Semitic jargon.

Tomer Sargon of Netivot heard that IDF soldiers haven’t been able to bath in days, for lack of water and showering facilities out in the field. So he took it upon himself to help, by driving down to the Gaza border with a truck filled with huge water containers, just so the soldiers could have […]

Hundreds of Arabs gathered near Kever Rachel (Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem) Wednesday to attack IDF soldiers with stones and firebombs. Riots were also reported in Beit Omar, near Hebron.

Shots were fired outside the Hadar Mall in Talpiot, Jerusalem Wednesday. One individuals opened fire from a moped outside the mall this evening. No injuries or property damage was reported. Police said Wednesday night that a man suspected of having staged the attack was arrested in the Gilo section of south Jerusalem. Police have determined […]

Hamas terrorists fired mortar rounds Wednesday at an IDF field hospital on the Israeli side of the Gaza border, according to a report on Israel Radio. The Israeli army set up the hospital last week to treat Palestinian victims of Hamas’ “human shields” policy, but the report indicated that the terror gang has prevented wounded […]

The Al-Wafa hospital located near Shajuayia in Gaza City was a Hamas military compound.

US extends ban on flights to Israel despite lack of such precaution in similar or worse situations.

Hamas terrorists took over Waffa hospital in Gaza and were using it as a terror base. The IDF communicated with the medical staff to ensure no patients or staff were inside before blowing it up.

Hamas lunched a new massive barrage or rockets and missiles at southern Israel and as far north as Kiryat Malachi, near the southern edge of metropolitan Tel Aviv, shortly after 6 p.m. (11 a.m. EDT) Wednesday. The Iron Dome shot down two rockets aimed at Kiryat Malachi, which has a large industrial area. Sirens also […]

Did El Al intentionally spike prices, or was the sudden jump in air fares the normal function of airline economics?

Military spokesman: We’ve been trying for years to deal with tunnels, with no success.

More Articles from Josh Hasten

“This legislation is anti-liberal and makes no sense in a free market where anyone can do what they want as long as it’s legal and ethical,” Pollak told JNS.

After eight wonderful years living in Jerusalem, my wife and I recently picked up the keys to our new house in a community located within the Gush Etzion “settlement” bloc.

I was actually starting to believe I was the lucky charm of Sderot. Over the past eight months I had been to Sderot on business nearly every other week, and each time I traveled down from Jerusalem, things were quiet. No Kassam rockets, no “red color” warnings, no Israelis fleeing for their lives.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?





    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/bill-to-ban-free-israeli-newspapers-faces-strong-pushback/2014/05/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: