RAMALLAH, November 23 (JMCC) - Israel's parliament is considering enacting a law that would dramatically raise libel penalties and impose other rules on journalists that have outraged critics, reports
The draft legislation would increase by six times fines imposed on journalists found guilty of libel. Moreover, the law would require writers to publish the dissenting statements of their subjects in full - no matter the statement's length.
In other words, I can get sued for writing that the author of the bill is more dangerous to Israel’s future than Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah combined; and, if a newspaper wants to run a 300-words report suggesting a certain company is engaging in malpractice, it must also run the full comment of the company – even if it’s 5,000 words long. With the likely result the report will not run at all.
The move comes as authorities closed Israel's Channel 10 and a radio station run from Ramallah, raising further concerns about press freedom in Israel.