Sunday, May 23, 2010

Limiting Freedom of Speech, Eroding Democracy

If you believe the NIF, Israel's radicals, Peter Beinart or many others, Israel is going through a crises of democracy, freedom of speech is under attack, oppositional organizations are being persecuted and things are generally going downhill in Israel. It's ugly.

It's also nonsense, as I've been describing relentlessly for quite a while.

Here's a description from a faraway land. It tells not about grandstanding and mooted ideas about changes to the laws that will never happen, but rather about laws that are already on the books, laws that limit the ability to organize freely, draconian requirements for total transparency about sources of funds for political purposes - and as a freebie, one of the matters that has sparked the discussion is the intention of the government to demolish homes of poor people to make way for rich folks.

I dare anyone to find Israeli laws that look anything like this, the ones currently on the book or the ones being discussed that will never be enacted.

The faraway land, you ask? The state of Washington. And Alabama. And 34 others.


NormanF said...

Of course treason in Israel is something one can get away with paying no real price for it.

What's a betrayal? Its no worse than a jaywalking offense!

Anonymous said...

that is just the kind of story to confuse me even more

- for weeks now I try to get a glimpse of an Ariadne thread of NGO financing - wherever I poke I get the claim of total openness only to end in another dead end so that to date I feel like foundations and governments alike use similar schemes of hiding in plain sight.

On the one hand there exist these ridiculous rules for "normal" people in Seattle on the other hand all I can learn on one of the outfits which has been donating to Alex' CFP-outfit is:

The Sparkplug Foundation is a family foundation, funded and administered in part by Palestine-born and first-generation American Jews."

I especially like the "in part" insertion - maybe the inhabitants of Seattle should try to get umbrellaed by sponsors who are equally skilled in opaqueness.