Tag Archive for Freedom of Speech

Autocrat Mahmoud Abbas censors news websites critical to his rule

 

Human Rights Watch has accused Abbas’ gov’t of arresting and abusing local journalists and activists critical of PA policies, seen as a violation of media freedom and freedom of speech.

By i24NEWS

 

The Palestinian Authority government in the West Bank has blocked 11 news websites associated with their Gaza-based rivals Hamas and other political adversaries critical of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, according to Arabic media reports.

Autocrat of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas – AP

The shutdowns were ordered by the Palestinian Attorney General’s office, with Palestinian media outlets quoting one anonymous official as saying that the sites blocked were in “violation of the rules of publications” which bars the dissemination of alleged fake news and defamation. Continue Reading »

Berlin gov’t: Display of Hezbollah flag is incitement to genocide

 

Berlin state interior minister Frank Henkel, “Anyone who calls for the destruction of an entire people and promotes war and violence is abusing the right” of free speech and assembly.

By JTA

 

The Berlin State Senate has agreed to ban Hezbollah flags, with their image of an upraised assault weapon, from an anti-Israel Al Quds march, likening the symbol to a call for genocide.

Hezbollah

Anti-Israel Hezbollah parade in Lebanon

The announcement came following a request by the American Jewish Committee in Berlin. The march is scheduled for Saturday.
Berlin state interior minister Frank Henkel, on the advice of the Berlin police, said that the flags would be added to the propaganda material that is not permitted to be displayed publicly. Continue Reading »

UC Irvine considers enacting principles against intolerance, anti-Semitism & demonization of Israel

 

University of California is the 1st statewide university to consider adopting a set of principles against intolerance, but the draft fails to explicitly address anti-Semitism & the demonization of Israel.
• Freedom of Speech advocates criticize decision, saying it amounts to censorship.

By News Agencies & Israel Hayom Staff

 

Under pressure from Jewish organizations, members of the University of California’s governing board Thursday called for an overhaul of a proposed set of system-wide principles against intolerance, saying it should explicitly address anti-Semitism.

About two dozen people gave input to the board of regents at their meeting at UC Irvine about the proposed “Statement of Principles Against Intolerance,” a broad declaration that free speech advocates contended would amount to censorship. Continue Reading »

US Circuit court ruled Seattle free to stop anti-Israel bus ads

9th Circuit Court of Appeals sides with county officials who originally banned anti-Israel advertisements fearing vandalism & violence.

By Reuters

 

County officials in Seattle can prohibit an advertisement criticizing Israeli policies toward Palestinians from appearing on local buses without violating constitutional protections on free speech, a US appeals court said on Wednesday.

Billboard in Seattle – Photo: Archive

In a 2-1 ruling, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco found that King County acted reasonably when it barred the ad, which sparked threats of vandalism and violence that could have endangered passengers.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, which helped challenge the ban, is disappointed in the ruling, Executive Director Kathleen Taylor said. Continue Reading »

Abbas’ Security Service Arrests Palestinian for anti-PA comments on Facebook

Criticism of Palestinian Authority officials can lead to arrests then jail, Palestinian journalist reports: ‘The PA police asked me why I liked to curse Abbas on my Facebook page’

By Abdullah H. Erakat, The Media Line

 

Pharmacist Raed Qubbaj was busy with a customer when a man working with the Palestinian Preventative Security Forces came into his Ramallah pharmacy and placed him under arrest earlier this month.

Illustration (Photo: AP)

Illustrative Photo: AP

“He didn’t tell me why and he had no official papers from any court,” the father of three boys told The Media Line.

Qubbaj handed over his mobile phone and laptop to the man who had a car waiting outside. Continue Reading »

Jerusalem Judge Vetoes Israel Police, Allows Anti-Pope Protests

Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court Judge overrules Police remand of youths who put up posters calling on ‘impure’ Pope to leave Israel.

By Orly Harari, Gil Ronen

 

Jerusalem Magistrates’ Court Judge Shmuel Herbst rejected early Friday afternoon a request by police to place two youths under house arrest for seven days, distance them from Jerusalem and slap them with a security deposit after they were caught putting up posters hostile to Pope Francis.

Judge Herbst

Judge Herbst – Courts Website

The posters said, among other things, that Christianity is an “accursed” religion that is complicit in the murder of millions of Jews, and that its leaders dream of “annihilating the Jewish state.” It called on the “impure” pope to “get out of our holy land” and “return the stolen vessels of the Temple.”

Police claimed this was incitement to racism but the judge rejected this, determining that “theological arguments and disputes between religions have existed from time immemorial and these arguments do not constitute a danger to the public.”

The judge added that there is a “very weak” case to be made against the sentence that says Christians dream of annihilating the Jewish state, but that it does not constitute racism in any case. Continue Reading »

White House not appeased by Yaalon clarification, expect formal apology

White House blasts Turkey for limits on Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Speech yet condemns Israel’s Defense Minister for his professional opinion on US policies & weaknesses.

 

WASHINGTON — A statement from Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon clarifying his attack on U.S. foreign policy did not appease the Obama administration.

US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki. - YouTube  Screenshot

Freedom of Speech concerns are in the US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki’s opening comments and Israeli issues are at the 15:00 to 26:00 mark. – Photo: YouTube Screenshot

“We are disappointed with the lack of an apology from Defense Minister Yaalon’s comments,” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said Friday.

Continue Reading »

Canadian Arrested for ‘Insulting Abbas’

Mohammed Al Sabawi, the father of a Canadian businessman was arrested & held for 9 hours after calling for PA Chairman’s downfall. ‘Hurt his feelings and he’ll arrest you’.

By Ari Soffer

 

The father of a Canadian businessman was detained for nine hours by Palestinian Authority security forces after calling for the ouster of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Monday.

Khaled Al Sabawi said his 68 year-old father, Mohammed Al Sabawi, was arrested after PA police accused him of insulting Abbas when he refused to allow PA security forces to use his roof during the recent visit by French President Francois Hollande. Continue Reading »