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Justice minister's hunt for Israeli NGO not about justice

Despite her lack of authority to even suggest it, Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is getting the investigation into Breaking the Silence spokesperson Dean Issacharoff she demanded.
Ayelet Shaked, Israel's new Justice Minister of the far-right Jewish Home party, attends a ceremony at the Justice Ministry in Jerusalem May 17, 2015. REUTERS/Gali Tibbon/Pool/File Photo - RTX2RPZJ
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The attitude of the Israeli government toward the pillars of democracy and human rights brings to mind the old story about the coachman who decided one day to save some money by cutting his horse’s daily portion of hay. He believed the animal would eventually get used to the forced diet and keep pulling the coach. The miserable horse stamped its feet, slowed its gait, turned to skin and bones and, of course, one day up and died.

The backbone of any democracy is, obviously, freedom of expression. The gradual erosion of this principle in Israel accelerated two years ago, when Culture Minister Miri Regev sought to withhold state funding from artistic creations that did not sit well with her views. The attorney general, Yehuda Weinstein, was forced to explain to the minister that such a decision was not within her purview. When Regev persisted, Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber made it clear to Shaked that state censorship of plays was venture that had gone out of business many years ago.

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