Press freedom and other stuff

From today’s Jerusalem Post:

A Cairo court sentenced the editors of four outspoken tabloids to a year in prison for insulting President Hosni Mubarak and his ruling party, judicial officials said Thursday.

Imagine if Israeli journalists could be jailed for insulting PM Olmert! There would be no news media, only full jails (the same goes for Americans and our president).

I thought of this yesterday while listening to a truly outrageous program on left-wing radio station KPFA, Berkeley. The commentator went on and on about the corporate stranglehold on the media and how it suppressed the ‘truth’ about 9/11, which in his view was that the WTC was not destroyed by planes piloted by radical Saudi Islamists, but rather was blown up by the Bush administration in order to give it an excuse to suppress domestic dissent and attack Muslim countries.

And this morning I read, in my local ‘corporate’ newspaper a column by Amy Goodman (also a KPFA personality), in which she praised Jimmy Carter for pointing out the ‘fact’ that Israel is an apartheid state because there are “roads that Palestinians are not permitted to drive on”.

By this I presume she meant the bypass roads in the West Bank, built to connect settlements to each other and to Israel proper, because Jewish vehicles driving on normal roads were subject to stoning at best, and very often shooting and firebombing — sometimes with multiple deaths as a result.

So actually, the racists here were the Palestinians, who did not permit Jews to travel, on pain of death. The Israeli response was to build roads, in some places surrounded by walls and fences, which did not have offramps in Palestinian towns. Apartheid!

Anyway, Amy Goodman can say what she likes, despite the corporate character of the media and the supposedly great power of the Jewish Lobby. And in Israel, Danny Rubinstein can say what he wants about his country, too, even if it borders on treason, and still keep his job.

Try it in Egypt or in Saudi Arabia, or indeed in any Arab country.

!שנה טובה

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