Thursday, August 18, 2016

There’s Too Much Speech in Israel! - by Matthew Continetti

The Israeli left cannot accept that their country is far less isolated, far more stable, far more liberal, and far more democratic than it has been in decades. Israel is not only secure. It has also withstood efforts to isolate it internationally even as its economy grows and diversifies, its population increases, its culture matures, its society variegates. Israeli media have long been the left’s redoubt, but here, too, the walls are crumbling, they are losing their grip, and they can’t stand it. Margalit quotes a journalist who says, “Sometimes competition is the refuge of the antidemocrat.” How incredibly wrong that is. The last refuge of the antidemocrat isn’t competition. It’s the New York Times.

Matthew Continetti..
Commentary Magazine..
11 August '16..

Over summer vacation, the New York Times ran an essay by U.S.-based Israeli writer Ruth Margalit. Headlined “How Benjamin Netanyahu Is Crushing Israel’s Free Press,” the article accused Netanyahu of attempting “to control the country’s pages and airwaves” while engaging in “a broader attack” on “Israel’s democratic institutions.” Netanyahu, we are led to believe, exercises a Svengali-like hold over the Israeli media, intimidating reporters and editors and broadcasters and shaping the news to further his agenda and ambitions. So terrifying has the situation become, it would seem, that Israeli journalists must turn to the most influential newspaper in the world to have their voices heard.

Finished laughing? For anyone even remotely familiar with the Israeli media landscape, Margalit’s charges are absurd. But they are also deeply revealing—of a bankrupt Israeli left that is powerless, isolated, unpopular, unlamented, and vengeful. Defeated at the polls, the left in Israel mobilizes external pressure—the diaspora, J Street, President Obama, the U.N., nongovernmental organizations, foreign press—to compel the Israeli government to enact the very policies the Israeli public rejects. It is a strategy of delegitimization, of convincing world opinion, such as it is, that Israel is neither liberal nor democratic and therefore undeserving of moral sanction, foreign aid, and other forms of diplomatic support.

(Continue to Full Article)

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