INN: Feiglin: Bill Banning ‘Israel Hayom’ Repressive
By Tova Dvorin
Likud MK Moshe Feiglin strongly opposes the “Israel Hayom law” promoted by Labor MK Eitan Cabel, charging in an interview with Arutz Sheva on Tuesday that the law is anti-democratic.
Feiglin began by noting that he, himself, has had disagreements with his party chairman Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – which Israel Hayom strongly supports.
However, he draws the line at using the legislative process to shut down publications which disagree with his views, and stated that the law itself is hypocritical.
“I think that the essence of the bill, that our Parliament will shut down [the paper] just because it doesn’t fit the mold politically, is just repressive,” Feiglin stated. “I can’t believe that Cabel and his associates are really seeking to pass a law like this.”
According to MK Feiglin, the law is proof that when it comes to the nationalist camp, there are no human rights.
“Since the expulsion from Gush Katif [in 2005 – ed.], I learned never to trust the liberal ideas from the Left – and even so, I am still surprised by this law,” he said.
Feiglin questioned how the Left could “rally behind human rights” and then aim to silence an entire sector of the population.
“There’s a tremendous silencing here,” he said. “They’re proposing a law which would close a vehicle of public expression that prints the views of many in Israel; moreover, they are canceling a free service.”
“If it weren’t so sad it would simply be ridiculous,” he added, noting that using the same logic as the bill, the State should also shut downHaaretz and Yedioth Aharonoth.
“There, they influence the public through money,” he fired, referring to the fact that the proposed law bans free newspapers, but not paid subscriptions. “They should also shutter European-funded NGOs, who are not exactly known for their Zionist views.”
“Unfortunately, what we have here is the cynical dictatorship of the Left,” he added.
Israel Hayom is owned by philanthropist Sheldon Adelson, who is considered to be a friend and supporter of Netanyahu. The newspaper’s detractors and competitors claim that it is overly protective of Netanyahu – who is often condemned by the rest of Israel’s press.
Outrage has snowballed after several right-wing MKs vocally supported the bill against the nationalist paper – specifically Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett, who called the paper a “communist” publication shortly after the bill was drafted.
Luckily for Feiglin, both the Israeli public and the Attorney General have also expressed opposition for the bill.
Earlier this year, 81% of Israelis were revealed to oppose the bill in national polls; just 9.5% supported it. Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, meanwhile, stated just last week that the bill is “unconstitutional”, as it violates the Basic Law of Freedom of Expression.