Israel’s Freedom of Speech: A Eulogy – a response

In response to my post earlier today about Jared Malsin, I received a comment from a reader:

Israel has full right to deny or accept the request to pass its borders. Israel can say “no” to anybody if it choses to, especially to those who spit in its face and do anything possible to taint it with lies, fabrications and distorsions of facts.

Jared Malsin may have never comitted a traffic violation but this does not secure him ANY kind of automaitc right to enter Israel.

Let’s see how many Israeli Jews who have never committed any traffic violation would be allowed into Saudi Arabia with the purpose of demonizing it. For that matter, let’s see ANYBODY being let into Saudi Arabia with the same purpose.

Let this creep go into Gaza through one of the tunnels

I appreciate the comment, however I do have some qualms with the argument.  For example, it is true that Israel can prohibit anyone from entering their country.  It is their country.  But last time I checked, Israel was a free country and the US supported it unconditionally because it had the same values and morals.  Kicking someone out of the country (out of occupied territory, to be more specific) for stating an opinion does not sound like the kind of freedom that is supported by the US.

Furthermore, Malsin was not deported for slandering Israel.  If you read his articles and what was printed in Ma’an news, you would find writing that was fair and unbiased.  Was it critical of Israel at times?  Of course, but that does not make it untrue.  Malsin did not spit “in [Israel’s] face,” nor did “do anything possible to taint it with lies, fabrications and distorsions of facts.”  He was a journalist who reported things as they were.  He was deported because he refused to bend the truth and to be uncritical of Israel.

As for the comment about Saudi Arabia.  The reason that US is such good friends with the KSA is because of oil (among other reasons: stability in the region, fighting terror etc…).  In Saudi, women are treated poorly and there are scores of human rights violations, but the US stays mostly quiet because the US needs something that KSA has.  The reason that the US is such good allies with Israel is because the two countries supposedly have the same ideological backbone.  Israel and the US were supposedly beacons of freedom in a dangerous world.  The fact that this happened in Israel and not Saudi Arabia is exactly why it is so shocking.

Deporting a news reporter for speaking ill of the country is unacceptable.  Deporting a news reporter for telling the news is downright despicable.


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