Islamo facists and fifth columnists protected from being called Nazi in Israel - will ' National Socialist' suffice?
Free speech rights for left upheld for slander and libel of 'right wing'
Under new bills proposed by Labor MK's, calling somebody a "Nazi" might land you in the clink. And once you're in jail, watching a certain movie by Mel Brooks won't get you off for good behavior.
Know someone who recently insulted somebody by calling him a Nazi? According to the bill proposed by MK Colette Avital (Labor), such a person, or anybody using Nazi terminology or symbolism lightly would face a prison term of up to seven years behind bars.
The Knesset is considering two legislative proposals submitted by Labor party MK's that would impose stiff penalties on anyone using Nazi terms, symbols, or imagery in every-day discourse.
The bills outlaw the term "Nazi" or other words carrying a similar connotation. The bills also outlaw symbols of the Holocaust, such as concentration camp style prison garments, yellow Stars of David, and swastikas.
Despite the stiff penalty, Avital's bill passed a Knesset committee by a vote of 14-3.
Many MK's such as Aryeh Eldad of the National Union party, who strongly opposes the legislation, claim that it places unreasonable limitations on freedom of speech.
Eldad claims that the bill will "silence" legitimate freedom of expression such as when opponents of the disengagement distributed orange Stars of David to symbolize the intensity of their disapproval of the government's plant to destroy 21 Jewish towns and villages and expel the residents from their homes in Gaza and Northern Samaria.
And what about Israel's most eloquent statesman Abba Eban? MK Eldad asks whether his famous comment about making sure Israel doesn't return to "Auschwitz borders" would have landed him a term cutting potatoes for the Prison Services.
MK Avital said that freedom of expression should "have its limits," pointing out that Israel has backed similar legislation in other countries.
MK Yuli Tamir, who drafted one of the bills, said that "public discourse must be free of Nazi terminology."
If the bill passes, make sure you close you shutters and lock your doors before watching a DVD of Mel Brooks' "The Producers" or listen to Seinfeld crack a joke about Nazi soup.
Knesset members and the rest of the Israeli public may soon be breaking the law by using the word "Nazi" as an insult in public discourse and may face a prison term for doing so, according to two bills advanced by the Knesset on Wednesday that would outlaw the use of Nazi words and symbols.
According to the legislation approved in preliminary reading, symbols of the Holocaust include Nazi-style prison garments, yellow Stars of David of the type distributed by the Nazis, swastikas and the word "Nazi" or words with a similar meaning or intention.
The legislation was initiated by a group of Labor MKs, and in a surprising development right-wing MKs argued against the proposal on grounds that it would impinge on the freedom of speech.
It would limit the use of Nazi words and symbols to studies, historical research or reports on Nazism. Nazi symbols may also not be used in a manner that is not fitting to the memory of victims of the Holocaust, according to the bills.
MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union), who voted against the bills, said they were a grave affront to freedom of expression and in effect an attempt to "silence" opinions. Such a law would prevent the broadcast of Seinfield's Nazi joke about soup, Eldad said, or the wearing of a yellow or orange Star of David.
"What about Abba Eban's remark about the Auschwitz borders?" Eldad asked. "Would he have been punished?"
The bill submitted by MK Colette Avital (Labor) would impose a maximum seven-year prison sentence for breaking the law. The government opposes the stiff sentence, and Avital said she would be willing to reduce it. Avital's bill was approved in a 14-3 vote.
"Even freedom of expression should have limits," said Avital, noting that there have been many instances of the use of such expressions in the Knesset. As Israel expects other countries not to tolerate such expressions, they should not be tolerated within Israel either, Avital said.
The second bill, drafted by MK Yuli Tamir (Labor), would impose a fine. "Public discourse must be free of Nazi terminology," she said.
MK Yossi Paritzky and Nissim Ze'ev also voted against the Avital bill. MKs who supported the bill included those from Labor, Yahad, and Arab MKs Mohammed Barakei and Wasal Taha. Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom was the only Likud MK who voted in favor.
Knesset Speaker Ruby Rivlin (Likud) and Roni Bar-On (Likud) abstained.
Avital said it was fitting for the Knesset to approve the bill the same week of the dedication of the new Holocaust museum.
The bill was in the past discussed in the 11th Knesset (elected 1984), and eventually rejected by the Knesset Law Committee, which decided that the topic was best dealt with by education.
MIM: Court affirms freedom of speech for extreme leftist groups who criticise new IDF general who stated that 'he slept well' after bombing raids which had killed terrorists. The group who call themeselves 'there is a limit' (to self defence) wants the oxymoronic concept of 'ethical warfare' (capitulation and surrender) to become the MO of the IDF.
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Sunday, March 29. 2005