The media in Israel are subject to the oversight of the Military Censorship, which functions under an old British law that was applied to Palestine back in the days when the country was ruled by His Majesty’s mandatory government. The press is obliged to submit in advance every item that we wish to publish about the military, intelligence, terror and allied subjects to the Censor, a department of the Directorate of Military Intelligence. This is a regrettable state of affairs, one that gravely impinges upon Israeli democracy. It is permissible for a state to have secrets in order to protect its security, but the Israeli Military Censorship bars publication of many stories that in my opinion have nothing to do with national security, and the motive is to conceal from the public’s eye other things, mostly embarrassing failures.
One of the dozens of matters on which I disagree with the Censor is the case of an Israeli businessman tycoon with multiple international connections who 1970’s and 1980’s functioned as a double agent, for both the KGB and the Israeli Shin Bet, and who was a key player in the espionage games between the West and the East at that time.
An interview that I gave to the Israeli Democracy Institute’s online media journal “Ha’ayin Hashivi’it” on this affair was also heavily blue-penciled by the Censor. The blogger Richard Silverstein has described the saga in two of his recent blogs.
Here is the link to Silverstein’s first blog on the subject, after the first time the interview was censored:
And here’s the link to the second blog:
The very fact that a blogger sitting in the United States can write about something that I am forbidden to publish, and which because of the global nature of the Internet has also reached the citizens of Israel, from whom the Censor is trying to conceal the affair, shows how irrelevant and absurd the censorship laws have become.