Our government pledged to apply all the lessons it learned in the Marmara raid ahead of future flotillas, yet one lesson can be applied at this time already: Kick al-Jazeera out of Israel. Shut down their offices here tomorrow morning and confiscate their equipment. Of course, also revoke their reporters’ and photographers’ press cards.
The attorney general will find the proper clause that would allow us to undertake such move. He may even designate the network as a terrorist organization. After all, al-Jazeera assists Hamas to a much greater extent than all the organization’s television and radio stations combined. Would we allow Hamas to maintain official studios here?
The Olmert government already took a decision in the past to boycott al-Jazeera, but it did not find the courage to truly boycott it. The Qatar-based network continues to broadcast from here, while sinking us in waves of venom.
Every time the network turns on a camera or a microphone in this country, tens of millions of viewers worldwide get another proof that Israel lost its desire to live. Only a nation with zero will to survive issues press cards to its enemies. The time has come to prove to everyone that we choose life after all.
International media organizations will raise a hue and cry and argue that the move is tantamount to silencing divergent opinions, etc. etc. Yet this will be no more than hypocritical nonsense that we shall somehow have to tolerate.
Indeed, shutting down al-Jazeera’s broadcasts from Israel will undermine the freedom of expression to the same extent that shutting down a brothel undermines one freedom to make a living.
As far as it applies to Israel, al-Jazeera is not a media outlet; rather, it is a hornets’ nest. How long will we wait before we dispatch a police team over there with a closure order?