Benjamin Netanyahu retracts under pressure on law banning journalists


Jerusalem: Succumbing to public pressure, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today assured the country that he will scrap a newly-passed controversial law that banned journalists working for Israel’s public broadcaster from expressing their personal opinions on air.

The prime minister believes that the ethical rules for journalists do not need to be enshrined in the primary legislation, and decided to bring an amendment to the clause, his office said in a statement.

The controversial law, passed earlier this week, drew sharp criticism from journalists who accused the government of trying to suppress dissent.
The Israel Press Council has also urged the parliament to cancel the law, which stipulated that broadcasts should “avoid one-sidedness, prejudice, expressing personal opinions, giving grades and affixing labels, ignoring facts or selectively emphasising them not according to their newsworthiness.

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