Israeli IMC Under Fire

IMC Israel is in hot water with the Israeli government for its open newswire, and the potential for its abuse that lay therein.

The Indymedia Israel website provides a free and open stage for surfers on the Internet. Approximately three weeks ago, a surfer outside of Israel published a caricature in the open publishing zone of the website, in which the Israeli Prime Minister is portrayed passionately kissing the leader of Nazi Germany. Subsequent to this, the Attorney General of Israel ordered the opening of an investigation against the website’s administrators, for incitement and insulting a public figure.

Today, attorney Avner Pinchuk of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) sent a letter to the Israel Attorney General demanding an immediate end to the investigation. Attorney Pinchuk claims that the moment the police realized the site’s operators did not publish the publication, it was illegitimate to harass them with an investigation. Worse than this, the police investigators are attempting to ‘convince’ the site’s operators to commit themselves to continual censorship over all publications in the open publishing zone of the site. By doing this, the investigators deviate from their authority in an attempt to impose on the Israeli Internet arena, norms which are against both the law and the position of most professionals working in the field, in Israel and abroad—including a special committee of the Israel Ministry of Justice.

Granted, I’ve always had mixed feelings about IMC—particularly the open newswire, because there is no editorial staff overseeing which material gets posted—it’s strictly an open forum. Unfortunately, under these circumstances, posts of a substandard and even subintellectual nature tend to pile up, choking the newswire with garbage, and they are usually only removed after numerous requests from site visitors. Thus, while it has its good intentions, the open publishing model invoked by IMC gives rise to a fair amount of banal idiocy, beyond the usual armchair idealgoues stumping for long-deceased political philosophies. Rather, blatant ignorance, misinformation, glaring factual innaccuracies, and, sadly, racist drivel, rule the newswires of many a local IMC, earning the site the nickname Nazimedia, as was bestowed upon it by the starbats at LGF. Frankly, I’ve always thought a ranking system that would allow visitors to eliminate posts via a hot-or-not-style [NSFW] voting process would be a useful addition to the site. But no such luck. Thus is the cost of free speech: everyone is entitled.

Regardless of the “downside” to open publishing, however, I don’t think IMC’s volunteer staff should be persecuted because some asshole posted an inappropriate picture, just as I shouldn’t be liable for what a visitor to any of my websites posts to the comments field. This, I fear, is just part of Israel’s campaign of repression against anti-occupation elements within Israeli society. It’s shameful, really, and does not coincide with the values of a true democracy. The suppression of free speech is incongruous with the notion of a free society.

But enough soap boxing for now…I’m a busy man today.

5 thoughts on “Israeli IMC Under Fire

  1. Now that you’ve seen the actual cartoon in question, and with your previous comments about Likud being descended from the European fascist movement, do you still think it’s inappropriate ?

  2. yes, it’s an inappropriate image. if he was kissing musolinni, on the other hand, it’d be appropriate. the fact of the matter is that israel’s oppression of palestinians is still inequitable with the genocide faced by jews in nazi europe.

  3. hahahAHHAHAHAH
    you know what’s really funny, those stupid leftists, would they be in the PA and say anything against them, would be DEAD.
    They take their freedom and abuse it.
    Again, it’s the leftist thing. If it were Kahanists, no one would complain.

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