Friday, July 11, 2014
Media Censorship in Israel
The cease-fire has been broken, and the fighting between Israel and Gaza continues to escalate. There has been recent exchanges of bombings and missile strikes, with reported deaths on both sides. Unfortunately, Israel launched this week a massive offensive attack on Gaza called Operation Protective Edge. Perhaps even more unfortunately, the people of Israel are aware that the war is going on, but most of them haven't the faintest idea of Israel's role in the occurrences. As far as the people of Israel are concerned, their nation is under attack, unprovoked, from their neighbors, Gaza. Upon further investigation, it is easy to see that this is quite contrary to the truth, but that is not the purpose of this blog post. What is interesting to examine, however, is why the Israeli population is under this impression.
In Israel, all news articles regarding military activities are censored. As the article states, "this means that authorities have pre-approved every item the public receives." Essentially, it is up to the military authorities what information the public receives about any military action, leaving the authorities the power to make the public believe whatever they are told, regardless of its validity. When reading this article, I was instantly reminded of The Orphan Master's Son and the situation in North Korea. Jun Do is quick to realize the fictionalizations of the North Korean news. It is because of the fictional news that much of the population has completely incorrect opinions about most of the outside world.
In both of these cases, it seems completely unfair to the public of both nations that the government would censor and/or essentially make up the news. Some of the basic principles outlined by both the UN and the United States Constitution state that, as US citizens, we have the right to the freedom of press. However, this only applies to what we as citizens can put into the newspapers, what we can submit as articles. I think that this freedom should extend to the government, and place restrictions on how much they can censor the media. Not only do I think this should be adopted as legislation in the United States, but also all over the world. How is it fair to the citizens of other nations if all the news they receive is corrupted? Because of this, the citizens themselves become corrupted and their minds become polluted with half-truths and false hopes. How does that seem fair?