by Giulio Meotti
Ghana is freer than the UK, the US behind Namibia and Tonga, Israel just above Nigeria. Can you believe it?
First is the resounding success of Israel Hayom, the best-selling Israeli newspaper owned by the American casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, also a financer of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Then is Netanyahu’s interim term as Minister of Communications.
Another one is the reform of Israel Broadcasting Authority.
Now the New York Times, which never misses an opportunity to demonize the Israeli prime minister, lies about Israel’s free press. Netanyahu as Erdogan. It is a reality fabricated by a conformist press. Freedom of speech is “crushed” by Bibi, while in actuality, a vibrant, free Israeli press continues to attack him without fear and hesitation every day? Ridiculous.
The press in Israel is totally free and it is also fierce, delves into the life of the Prime Minister (and his wife Sara) looking for a few shekels spent for traveling abroad, deposits on bottles not given to the treasury, puts the army under investigation and spurs debates about the democratic nature of the country. Israel has far more newspapers per capita than most Western democracies.
To understand this incredible audacity, just open Haaretz’s weekend edition, that newspaper of the losers of the Jewish diaspora:
Open Haaretz’s weekend edition, that newspaper of the losers of the Jewish diaspora: “Israel is an evil state”. Why don’t they try to publish this kind of editorial in any state which borders Israel?
What the media will never forgive Netanyahu is his having outclassed their progressive darlings at the polls for three times.
But it is not only a problem of the New York Times. In the flat and unimportant Finland, journalists are certainly freer than in the UK. But how explain that according to Reporters Without Borders' (RSF in French) 2016 world press freedom index, the British press, which created journalism, is less free than those liberals of Ghana?
The Netherlands stands at the top of the list and no one knows why, since it is the country of Theo van Gogh, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, cartoonists arrested and Geert Wilders’ trials. Denmark dominates the list, although last September the Jyllands-Posten, to celebrate the planetary crisis of free speech, republished the same 2005 page, but deleting the twelve Muhammad cartoons. The RSF ranking refers to 2015: wasn’t that the year of the attack on the Copenhagen cafe where journalists and cartoonists were discussing freedom of speech?
And how is that Germany plummeted behind Jamaica? Obviously, for right-wing attacks on journalists during Pegida's demonstrations. Such an attack on democracy.
In the unlikely logic of Reporters Without Borders, the Vatileaks case is more important than the twelve journalists killed at Charlie Hebdo, since France ranks forty seats ahead of Italy. And the United States, which invented the First Amendment 240 years ago? Behind Namibia, Belize and Tonga. Blame the Edward Snowden affair, repaired in the Russian paradise, and stoning in Ferguson, Missouri.
Reporters Without Borders puts Israel at the 100th place, just above Nigeria, where Boko Haram's liberals protect freedom of speech. Israel, accused of bombing Hamas’ antennas during the last war in Gaza, is far behind bastions of free speech such as Mozambique and Lebanon.
Anastas Mikoyan, a Soviet official under Stalin and Khrushchev, summed it up, this freedom of press: “When a millionaire has ten newspapers and ten million people do not have papers, this is not freedom of the press”. Basically, the very idea of pluralismus of our stupid journalistic guild.
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