Veteran Israeli activist warns against 'neo-fascist' legislation

Haaretz, 09.12.11

Uri Avnery - Alex Levac
Uri Avnery - Alex Levac

Uri Avnery


"Lethal," is how Avnery describes the current amendment to the bill drafted by MKs Meir Sheetrit (Kadima) and Yariv Levin (Likud), which would broaden the scope of compensation set in the 1965 law from NIS 50,000 to NIS 300,000 without need to prove damage.

Avnery says the threat of monetary damages can be much more damning to journalism than the threat of jail.

"Everyone has an editor and the editor has a publisher and the publisher has an owner," he says. "What this means is that no one will publish a story that has even the slightest doubt. (...) Anyone who wants to change that legislation always claims he is doing it for the little guy. But his true intentions are always aimed at the big guys. No one cares what happens to the little guy."