Raanan Shaked

Get out of my pants

Internet censorship bill a terribly wrong substitute for parental authority

Many women – at least three in my estimate – have tried to get into my pants to this day, but nothing prepared me for the moment where Communication Minister Ariel Atias would attempt to do the same.


Now, it's not that there's anything wrong with it. As a liberal guy hungry for excitement I'm even happy, here and there, to open up to new experiences and broaden my horizons. And yet, there is something that daunts me about Minister Atias' expected entry into my pants.


Minister Atias will get into my pants when the bill he has proposed, which has passed the first reading in the Knesset, will become a law. This bill aims to obligate Internet providers to block websites where men and women get into each other's pants. If the bill becomes a law, I will have to call my Internet provider and to tell the call center representative (let's call him Vladimir): "Listen, my dear, I need you to unblock all the websites on the Internet for me."


Vladimir will then ask: "Including websites featuring sexual content?"

And I will cringe in my chair, lower my voice, and quietly say: Yes.

Then, Vladimir will proceed to yell out into the open space he sits in: "Yes – unblock the porno sites for Raanan Shaked! Orly, are you there? Yes, Orly, the porn! For Shaked!"


And then he will get back to me and say: "We unblocked it. Do you also want violence, gambling, and checkers sites from eastern Europe?"

And I will say: "I want all websites, and that includes everything, to be unblocked for me, just like it used to be before. Is this clear?"

Vladimir will yell out again: "Orly! He wants everything. Yes, violence, sex with animals, bizarre sex, unblock everything!"


Then he will get back to me and say: "Ok, this call is being recorded. I will just read out the standard declaration here and you'll approve it: 'I, Raanan Shaked, hereby approve the unblocking of all websites. I have no objection to sexual, violent, or satirical content, because I am a horny citizen, likely a leftist, a terrible father, a dubious educator, and in general a regular contributor to Israel's declining morals.' Do you confirm that?"


And I will again say, in a quiet voice, "yes," and then I will put down the receiver and inadvertently put my hand into my underwear, where I will find Minister Ariel Atias. "Well, did that hurt?" he will ask from deep within my pants, with a kind smile on his face.


Ultimate bankruptcy of parental authority

Democracy, freedom of expression, and the basic right of every person to access quality porn was never among the issues promoted by Ariel Atias' party. No, Shas was always more about the right to exploit the public coffers, pleasant religious coercion, and replacing secular education by a warm meal and the brainwashing of young minds, preferably starting at kindergarten. This is the reason that even if I was willing to let Atias get his hands on my porn, I would never let him get his hands on my child.


The people from Shas are the last characters you would want to entrust the keys to the Internet with or the decision on which content is suitable for your children – that is, enable them to be a substitute for the parents.


Beyond the clear anti-democratic statement inherent in blocking websites by law, Atias' initiative reflects the ultimate bankruptcy of parental authority in Israel. Supporters of this legislation – a bizarre combination of ultra-Orthodox, militant feminists, and obsessive mothers – are saying that the welfare of children is not their responsibility.


"Parents can no longer exercise their authority on their children," declared National Religious Party Knesset Member Eliahu Gabbay, who backs the law. As if the issue here is porn, and not the critical moment where Israel takes giant leaps away from the Free World and starts to filter information and media on behalf of its citizens, under the orchestration of the most ultra-conservative party.


If Gabbay and his sisters are so concerned, and rightfully so of course, by the content that their children may be exposed to on the Internet, or at kindergarten, they have a problem – and it is entirely their problem, which they should be solving, in their capacity as parents.


The education of children is a mission which a person takes upon himself when he decides to have children. It includes the ability to limit your children, teach them, and assume responsibility for their life and knowledge. This is the basic (and joyful, if you ask me) responsibility of a parent – not the government's. If Gabbay is unable to assume this responsibility, perhaps children are not the right hobby for him.


So yes, children are a vulnerable target audience, and they must be prevented from being exposed to certain content too early. In the Free World concerned parents use a variety of filtering programs that allow them to decide on their on what will be blocked, how, and for whom. But here's a tip: The most effective and most advanced filtering programs are called "Education" and "Discipline."


A parent able to use those two programs effectively would be able to protect his children rather easily, even without technology, without paying for specialized software, and without letting Minister Atias into his pants. You should give it a try.


פרסום ראשון: 03.15.08, 16:29
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