Why Israeli military censorship is needed

Why Israeli military censorship is needed

Yosi melman


Israeli military censorship was created on the basis of British laws on the state of emergency of 1942. They were adopted when Italian aviation bombed Tel Aviv, and Rommel’s armies were torn to Egypt and there was a real threat of the Nazi occupation of Palestine.

Military censorship is part of the Department of Military Intelligence. Israeli law requires that Israeli authors (including those published abroad) submit for preliminary consideration all materials related to a wide range of national security, maintaining peace and public order. If desired, censorship created trouble, however, not for experienced journalists, but for writers and researchers who, by misunderstanding, hinted at some secrets that they could know from the service. Today, the department of military censorship is commanded by 49-year-old Ariela Ben Israel, Colonel. Women have held this post since 2004. In 2004-2005, Miri Regev, the Israeli Minister of Culture and Sports, who constantly provokes public storms with her non-parliamentary statements, served as the chief military censor.

Over the years, Israeli military censorship has performed different functions. For example, from 1948 to 2004, the military censors of “the only democracy in the Middle East” were listening to all international phone calls. In 1940, a committee of editors of leading Jewish newspapers dealt with censorship. They regularly met with the head of government, ministers, senior officials and army officers to discuss national security issues. It included both editors of pro-government Zionist media and editors of the opposition press. Editor of the Communist NewspaperKol HaAm”(“ Voice of the people ”) Shmuel Mikunis even once was the deputy chairman of this committee. In 1966, a committee of editors signed a censorship agreement on working procedures. To circumvent censorship, Israeli journalists must add the phrase "according to publications in the foreign press," exactly as the Russian media necessarily write about ISIS: "Organization banned in Russia."

In 1992, a disaster occurred, known in Israel as the disaster of Zeilim Bet. During the exercises in the Negev, practicing the assassination attempt on Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, five servicemen from the special forces of the General Staff were killedcyeren matkal) Six more were injured. Censorship banned all publications, but information was leaked to foreign media. It turned out that the then Chief of the General Staff of the Israeli Armed Forces Ehud Barak (later the head of the government) was present at the exercises and that he hastily left the scene of the accident by helicopter (he was accused of escaping). In protest against the ban on publication, several leading newspapers tore the agreement. Later, in 1996, a new agreement was signed, but conflicts between censorship and journalists are ongoing.


Ehud Barak during the Zeilim Bet disaster

“Military censorship interferes with my work every day,” says Yosi Melman. - I am obliged to submit to them for approval almost everything that I write. This is a constant hassle. Sometimes you have to bargain with them for every word, every sentence. Constantly trying to convince the censors to change their mind. This is not easy, but it is part of my daily work.

- You (all Israelis are in “you,” in Hebrew there is no “you." - M. D.) indignant? Asked him Simon Sprungin, the host of the Haaretz weekly podcast.

- Not that I am outraged, but this institution is outdated in the XXI century, the century of the Internet, social networks and blogs. Every day, every minute, the people are fasting everything that comes into their heads. And we, professional journalists, are required to ask for their permission. And this leads us to despair.

The attack on freedom of speech under the pretext of public safety is being conducted from all sides. The Obama administration has begun to apply wartime espionage laws against journalists. The Trump administration continues the same line. There is an opinion that it’s better to censor everything than to go to jail for many years by publishing something wrong.

I do not recall a single Israeli journalist imprisoned for publishing.


Different countries have different mechanisms for protecting sensitive information. For example, in Britain, the media warn that they can and cannot print.

I have mixed feelings for censorship, ”says Melman. - There is no consistency between the censors. The opinions of one may differ from the opinions of the other. On the other hand, of course, agreement is better than typing anything.

Melman is 69 years old. As an experienced war correspondent and columnist on national security issues, he often knows in advance what can be said and where the border passes.

We do censorship. But in the censorship system there is so much absurdity and absurdity that sometimes hands drop.


In these times of fierce competition in the media for the audience, for subscribers, for additional views and likes, there is a danger that any self-censorship may not resist, succumb to the temptation.

“I will give an example of the absurd.” Journalists are required to censor their materials. There is a group of selected bloggers with whom censorship has recently begun to work. Sometimes censors require to remove some messages, posts and tweets. Explanations of the censors in this case: they say you are influential (they are called “influencers”), and your information “weighs” more than the posts and tweets of ordinary commentators. Like, enemies, Iran, Hezbollah and so on, you can be read.

Hezbollah, Iranians, and other adversaries do read and respond to Israeli information carefully. They do not always understand the twists of Israeli politics, but for the Israelis themselves, their policies are becoming more confused. Shortly before the New Year, the newly appointed Israeli defense minister, Naftali Bennett, said they would turn Syria into Vietnam for the Iranians. Tehran quickly reacted, and the next day, the Iranians started talking about what they would do to the Israelis in Vietnam.

“I'm not a spokeswoman for the Israeli security services,” Melman says. “And he is not obliged to speak on their behalf, all the more so to reckon with the fact that the enemy listens to me or believes mine stories. This is ridiculous. It is not my task to broadcast on behalf of the Israeli security forces and obey their censorship. This is not my duty and not my responsibility.

Indeed, in Israel they like to consider their citizens as representatives, or even fighters of Israeli propaganda. I remember when I flew from Ben-Gurion Airport, they handed me the brochure "Become an IDF Soldier." It was not about the abbreviation of the Israel Defense Forces (Zwa Agana Le Israel), but the same letters meant the Israeli Propaganda Army (Tsva Asbara Le Israel) When I write something on Israeli topics, I get a bunch of reviews, including from my friends, who expect that (collective) we must be "representatives of Israel before the people." About Israel as a deceased - either good or nothing.


Israeli propaganda army poster

Yosi Melman is actively using Twitter. More than once he was forced to erase already published tweets. Censorship states that they supposedly correct the situation and reduce damage.

Some time ago, authorities forced Melman to destroy a tweet about corruption and bribes in the Israeli defense establishment. In recent decades, there have been many reports of bribery and corruption by Israeli merchants. weapons (exclusively senior retired officers who cannot even sell a nail without a license from the Israeli Ministry of Defense). Reports of dubious transactions come from Peru, India, Belarus, Russia, Georgia, Ivory Coast and other countries. However, censorship, the police and the courts surround all cases with a dull conspiracy of silence, although this is not even about security issues, but purely economic crimes.

Readers of the Russian-language Israeli media may get the impression that the prosecutor’s office and the courts there are a haven for dangerous leftists who just do that undermine the foundations of the Jewish state and dig into the best people. In fact, the Israeli human rights system is an obedient tool in the hands of law enforcement agencies, decides cases in their favor and unconditionally covers their shortcomings and miscalculations.

“I can understand when a non-disclosure order is issued in the interests of the investigation, for a week, a month.” But I investigated the simple bribe case in the Israeli defense industry, which has been going on for more than two years. The investigation of the case has already ended, and the indictment is sent to court, but the court imposed a non-disclosure order on the whole case. The court, if held, will also be closed. Allegedly, it is necessary to protect the interests of the country where bribes were committed.

In addition to army affairs, Yossi Melman wrote a lot and was engaged in Israeli intelligence affairs - Mossad. He is the author of several books, the popular documentary series Inside the Mossad (which appeared on Netflix with English subtitles). About the successful PR and the failed bureaucracy of the Israeli intelligence community - in the second part.

New York, January 2020
Author:
Photos used:
haarets.co.il, jpost.com, israelhayom.co.il
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  1. Lexus 18 March 2020 15: 06 New
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    Israeli military censorship to modern Russian comprehensive, like from a manger to a nursing home.
  2. Thrifty 18 March 2020 15: 17 New
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    Well, the article was written in January, and before censorship didn’t allow to place on the site? And whose exactly is Israel, or ours? ??
  3. dzvero 18 March 2020 15: 23 New
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    And what kind of disaster is Zeilim Bet? It’s not banned in Google, but he is in no hurry to share information smile
    1. kiril1246 18 March 2020 15: 35 New
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      Quote: dzvero
      And what kind of disaster is Zeilim Bet? It’s not banned in Google, but he is in no hurry to share information smile

      In short - Zeilim is a major training base in the south of the country. During the exercises, 5 soldiers died as a result of an erroneous shot from a rocket complex. Attending the teachings of Barack, the former then beginning. the General Staff, instead of allowing its helicopter to be used to evacuate victims to the hospital, stupidly flew away on it. They still recall this.
      1. dzvero 18 March 2020 15: 42 New
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        Thank you.
        The deed is not of a real officer, but of a future politician ... I wonder how it was broken off? Take the child from the kindergarten, the cat is unfeeding or the family friend Mosk eat for being late ...
        1. kiril1246 18 March 2020 15: 56 New
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          Quote: dzvero
          Thank you.
          The deed is not of a real officer, but of a future politician ... I wonder how it was broken off? Take the child from the kindergarten, the cat is unfeeding or the family friend Mosk eat for being late ...

          If I remember correctly, I said that I didn’t want to interfere in the work of rescue and sanitary services. In short I get on. Maybe I'm wrong, it was a long time ago.
    2. A. Privalov 18 March 2020 18: 06 New
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      Quote: dzvero
      And what kind of disaster is Zeilim Bet?

      A few years ago I talked to VO about this event. The article is entitled "Operation" The Thorny Bush. "An assassination attempt, which was not."
      https://topwar.ru/121103-operaciya-ternovyy-kust-pokushenie-kotorogo-ne-bylo.html
      1. dzvero 18 March 2020 18: 18 New
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        Thank. Informatively.
      2. Gust 18 March 2020 20: 18 New
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        Glad to see you again on the site, Alexander.
        1. A. Privalov 18 March 2020 20: 30 New
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          Mutually, Valery. drinks
  4. Amateur 18 March 2020 15: 25 New
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    Quote: lexus
    Israeli military censorship to modern Russian comprehensive,

    I somehow poorly present on the state channel of Israeli television a talk show of a Jewish journalist (US citizen), with an Orthodox Jew, a Palestinian militant, deputy head of the Hezbollah press service and a political observer from the IRGC on the subject of the Chinese coronovirus (well, like Soloviev’s with Ukrainians, Poles and Americans) no
  5. Peter is not the first 18 March 2020 15: 31 New
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    Any country should be able to protect its secrets and therefore such services are important both for Israel and for Russia. Or rather, they are in any self-respecting country.
  6. Slavs 18 March 2020 15: 39 New
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    Oh, how ... Usually they shout that the whole world enjoys freedom of speech and only in Russia is totalitarianism and does not give a head to raise truth-seekers ... And here it is ...)))
    In general, censorship is needed.
    1. kiril1246 18 March 2020 15: 58 New
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      Quote: Slavs
      the whole world enjoys freedom of speech

      Americans sometimes have stricter rules; freedom of speech is a fiction.
      1. Thrifty 18 March 2020 16: 59 New
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        Kirill1246 - there is no freedom of speech, there is freedom of thought, for they have not yet planted thoughts, if you can keep them to yourself! !!
  7. Operator 18 March 2020 18: 28 New
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    And these people (Israeli members of VO and part-time employees of the Department of Military Censorship of AMAS) every day tell us about the totalitarian character of the Russian state laughing
    1. Nehist 18 March 2020 18: 48 New
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      When did you launch Poseidon? I'd like to see
      1. Operator 18 March 2020 18: 54 New
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        When do you receive an advance from AMAN - the 20th of the month? laughing
        1. Krasnodar 18 March 2020 19: 42 New
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          In public services, the salary is once a month (like almost everywhere in Israel). The first day of every month.
          1. Thrifty 18 March 2020 19: 49 New
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            Krasnodar hi -From next year, all months will begin on the 7th! lol Let's see how you get out with a salary lol !
            1. kiril1246 19 March 2020 01: 26 New
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              Quote: Thrifty
              All months will start on the 7th!

              have you reset the calendar?
        2. kiril1246 19 March 2020 00: 33 New
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          Quote: Operator
          When do you receive an advance from AMAN - the 20th of the month?

          In the army, the salary is always 1st, there are no advances, money is transferred once a month. The minimum bet is 30 shekels for one betrayal, and for two already 60 leaves.
    2. kiril1246 19 March 2020 00: 28 New
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      Quote: Operator
      freelance

      Why is it freelance? What a hutspa ..
      1. Operator 19 March 2020 11: 35 New
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        I apologize for the error - of course full-time laughing
  8. Nehist 18 March 2020 18: 41 New
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    Uh, when did Tel Aviv exist in 1942? Author overeating mushrooms? Or bought something forbidden? Yes ... The site has passed significantly over the past three years, unfortunately (((
    1. Krasnodar 18 March 2020 19: 43 New
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      Quote: Nehist
      Uh, when did Tel Aviv exist in 1942? Author overeating mushrooms? Or bought something forbidden? Yes ... The site has passed significantly over the past three years, unfortunately (((

      Tel Aviv has existed since the beginning of the 20th century
    2. indy424 19 March 2020 01: 47 New
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      Of course, everyone knows that Tel Aviv was founded in 2287. after the third nuclear war
  9. Nehist 18 March 2020 18: 47 New
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    By the way!!! Those who do not like Jews! And there are many! I advise Beckendorf to read in the first Patriotic. For the victims of the exam explain the war of 1812
    1. Gust 18 March 2020 20: 15 New
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      We (non-Jews;)) are normal towards Jews, like everyone else. They don’t like the Orthodox of all nationalities, the Orthodox from politics, as a rule of the right wing. They also do not like Russian Natsiks, but there are few of them.
  10. Cowbra 18 March 2020 19: 47 New
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    Hehe))) That’s why I’m always laughing at a couple of yawners who howl here at the VO about the fact that nobody attacked them with the F-35 and the Israeli Air Force is the best in now the world!
    Propaganda, and stupid)
    1. Vitaly gusin 18 March 2020 23: 50 New
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      Quote: Cowbra
      I always laugh

      You wrote it yourself (admitted)
    2. really 19 March 2020 00: 53 New
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      Laugh, the reason is not important
  11. Iris 19 March 2020 01: 46 New
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    What does the phrase mean:
    In 1940, a committee of editors of leading Jewish newspapers dealt with censorship. They regularly met with the head of government, ministers, senior officials and army officers to discuss national security issues.
    ? What are the "head of government and ministers" in the 40th year ?!
  12. g1washntwn 20 March 2020 06: 28 New
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    Terry freedom of speech, cho. He declared martial law in 1942 and they forgot to switch the toggle switch to OFF, so far no questions about the lack of democracy. laughing
  13. gridasov 22 March 2020 12: 57 New
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    Censorship is an extremely important and necessary tool for regulating and presenting information. Silence is a diamond, and the word is a diamond cut