Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Supreme Court President Esther Hayut

Following the open threats by the court’s legal advisor against their weekend publication, the Shvi’i national-religious weekend magazine decided to redo the print run of their Shabbat paper and remove their cartoon of former Supreme Court president Esther Hayut’s final anti-democratic rulings and their affect on Israeli society.

“This is a seriously dangerous item that may raise suspicion of incitement to violence,” wrote the legal hack, one Barak Leiser to the paper. “In addition, the publication may result in a suspicion of denigrating the court. … You are ordered to act immediately to remove the item from all the media under your control.”


Shvi’i responded to the threatening letter and wrote back that they were acting well within the boundaries of free speech, nor was their any elements of incitement in their cartoon, and that this was an attack against Freedom of the Press.

The paper pointed out that their cartoon was directed at the last two controversial rulings of Hayut which many see as an attack on both the morale of the nation and unity of our soldiers. They pointed out that one of the judges even compared the Judicial Reform to Hamas in their legal response. They noted the hypocrisy of Haaretz regularly comparing the Right to Nazis or Eretz Nehederet’s unbounded attacks against settlers, and statements by leftwing former security and political leaders calling to spill rightwing blood, while the court remains utterly silent.

Shvi’i responds to the court’s letter suppressing their freedom of the press. Jan. 4, 2024

Nevertheless, the paper said that during this war, when our children are busy fighting, they don’t have the time to waste for anxiety on this and no desire for a needless fight within the nation, so they are pulling the cartoon.

So while the court managed to stifle the freedom of one press, the cartoon has spread like wildfire around the country, and ideas you can’t stifle.

And it doesn’t end there. Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi was shocked at the court’s (successful) attempt to stifle free speech and the free press, not to mention the sheer illegality of their letter, and he plans to take action.

Karhi sent a letter to the court’s legal advisor stating:

Minister of Communications, Shlomo Kahri in a letter to the legal advisor of the Courts Administration:
Subject: Illegal instruction to citizens
1. It was brought to my attention that you contacted the media with a puzzling instruction to refrain from publishing an illustration criticizing the judicial system.
2. It goes without saying that your order was given without authority, and that you cannot censor media or give any instructions to citizens.
3. I intend to bring up your lost reasoning in this matter for discussion in the government. Until then, you are required to refrain from giving instructions to citizens, and from any deviation from your authority.
4. As the Minister of Communications, I do not intend to stand by your attempts to harm the freedom of expression of Israeli citizens.

Let Freedom Ring.

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