Know More About Palestine

Sunday May 9, 2010 5:23 PM (EST+7)
ANALYSIS: Israel fights criticism by attacking the messenger

Read more: civil society, human rights, censorship

RAMALLAH, May 9 (JMCC) - Since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office in 2009, Israel's civil society network of human rights groups and NGOs have increasingly found themselves under fire and persecution from the government.

Even Israel's media, which has a long history of press freedom, has been under attack for its coverage of illegal government and military policies.

...For Netanyahu it seems to be all about the effectiveness of the cover up--hope nobody notices the gaping chasm between hype and reality and if that chasm is exposed then blame (and crush) the messenger. The actual policies that are undermining Israel's standing are not only left untouched, but accelerated and entrenched. This in turn generates a greater need to suppress the whistle-blowers, the dissenting voices without whom there is no democratic accountability, the clamp-down produces its own egregious examples of un-democratic regime behavior and so the vicious cycle in which Israel is trapped (by design of Netanyahu's government) continues.

Netanyahu confuses (perhaps intentionally) the legitimacy of his government's particular policies with the very legitimacy of Israel's existence--but the two are not equivalent. Criticizing specific government policies that violate human rights and civil liberties is a far cry from questioning a country's core legitimacy; secondly, instead of addressing the real policy issues that are the basis for his loss of legitimacy, he is treating the matter as a PR problem, to be solved by going after those who dare point out his government's shortcomings...

Read more about this topic at Foreign Policy...






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