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6 Comm. L. & Pol'y 1 (2001)

handle is hein.journals/comulp6 and id is 1 raw text is: 






COMMUNICATION LAW AND POLICY
Volume 6                 Winter 2001                Number 1
Copyright © 2001 Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.




FIFTY YEARS IN A MARRIAGE OF
CONVENIENCE: NEWS MEDIA AND
MILITARY CENSORSHIP IN ISRAEL


HILLEL NOSSEK*
YEHIEL LIMOR**

        One of the characteristics of democratic regimes is the
        absence of censorship and other prepublication control
        over the content of the news media. Although the state of
        Israel is considered to be a democratic state, military
        censorship has been in operation since the nation's
        establishment in 1948. The central question discussed
        in this article is: What are the circumstances and
        processes that began and preserve this anomalous
        situation, one that has no direct equivalent in any other
        democratic society? An examination of the reciprocal
        relations in Israel between the political establishment,
        with military censorship as its method of media control,
        and the media, finds that it is not a one-way
        relationship but a kind of marriage, not a marriage of
        love, but one of convenience. Marriages of this type last
        for decades, mainly because all the alternatives
        available to the couple are worse than that of remaining
        together. It seems that all parties to the unique Israeli
        censorship arrangement are reconciled to live in a
        framework of flexible, loosely defined boundaries.

  Democratic regimes are characterized by, among other traits, the
absence of censorship and other control over the content of the mass


  *Senior Lecturer, New School of Media Studies, College of Management,
Tel-Aviv, Israel.
  **Senior Teacher, Department of Communication, Tel-Aviv University,
Tel-Aviv, Israel.

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