The public’s right not to know: Not every act should get a stage in Prime Time / Avishai Grinzig
The public’s right to know is a constitutional right in Israel, as part of freedom of expression and freedom of the press. But as journalist Sivan Rahav-Meir said, the public also has a right not to know. Not every opinion and not every deed should have a stage in the prime time of the Israeli media, and not even on the margins of the media. We are not supposed to resonate all the nonsense and even worse, just because it will create a buzz.
I’m trying to figure out what the public interest is in hearing the vile words of a vile killer and his analysis for today’s demonstrations. The horrific murder occurred 37 years ago. The killer was released from prison 10 years ago, and has since plunged into the abyss of oblivion. I try to understand what the justification is for returning him from the abyss to say incitement that will provoke a storm, and not find.
You can also interview Prime Minister Yigal Amir’s killer from prison and ask him what he thinks of the unity government. The Bnei Sela serial rapist can be interviewed about the bill to aggravate the punishment of sex offenders. You can interview Muhammad Daf (or what is left of him) in honor of the 30th anniversary of the late Yehuda Waxman.
The question is why. What will we gain from spreading hatred and incitement. Abrushmi is irrelevant to anyone, and does not interest anyone. No one makes a pilgrimage to it, nor is it claimed to have any influence on anyone. If you want to warn of a political assassination, you can do so without giving a person with blood on their hands a microphone to spread his doctrine, especially if, according to his lawyer, he is not in the line of mental health. There is no exposure here of any underground body operating under the radar, an oil worthy of publicity. There is no new warning sign here that deserves to be condemned. This is the same vile killer who committed his horrific act almost 4 decades ago, and now News 12 decided to make him an ‘encore’, just so it corresponds well with the demonstrations in Zion Square and Balfour Street.
Another point in Yigal Mosko’s article that I found ridiculous in a scandalous way, is the comparison between Abrushmi’s remarks during his police interrogation of Peace Now demonstrators and Netanyahu’s remarks about the demonstrators against him. Moscow forcibly linked Netanyahu’s claim that the demonstrators were spreading corona disease to Abrushmi’s words that the demonstrators are like bacteria that should be destroyed. Moscow offered his wares to Abrushmi who was enthusiastic about the comparison, but it was a far-fetched and silly comparison. Balfour protesters are not bacteria and have not been compared to bacteria. They are people like me and like you that if we gather in the thousands and tens of thousands we will also catch the corona virus. One can love Netanyahu’s statement, and one can dislike it, but what is the difference between that and Abrushmi’s sickening words? Legal Moscow and News 12 Solutions.
Avishai Grinzig is a legal correspondent for “Globes”
Despite the fear of incitement, it is imperative to broadcast the crazy reality / David Wertheim
Even if there is something in the allegations against the broadcast of the mesmerizing interview with murderer Emil Grinzweig Jonah Abrushmi, the benefit of looking at reality as it is greater than the damage inherent in it
No matter how you look at it, the interview with Yona Abrushmi that aired on “Ulpan Shishi” as part of an article that went back to the demonstration in which left-wing activist Emil Grinzwig was murdered and raised the question of whether political murder of protesters could happen again – was a groundbreaking journalistic document. The article, as expected, received quite a few allegations, mostly from the left, under the main argument that it was incitement and that “such a killer must not be given a stage.” Others explained that the fact that Abrushmi returned from the remorse he had previously expressed and led to his early release, while calling on protesters to “bacteria” and hinting to right-wing forces to “continue the work” were what should have lit a red light in the editing room, censoring things, or at least presenting them In limited light.
Interestingly, the interview also led to opposition from the right. Quite a few right-wing media people explained on Twitter that this was a deliberate populist move – part of a “recognized media campaign” – aimed at painting the right as gods.
One way or another, neither of these seem to internalize the foundation of the work of the press. It is important to say clearly: the only test valid in such cases should be the public value that is in the broadcast. Is it in his power to bring about change? Is it appropriate to place a warning sign reflecting reality in front of the public, so that he can see if there is a danger? Could raising the issue to the agenda prevent further murder of this kind? Can a public discourse on the subject be helpful in understanding the fundamentals of how politicians’ statements have an immediate translation into action among sections of the public? Can exposing the “remorse” disability he expressed lead to a rethink the next time the pardon committee facilitates such a killer?
Here, too, the context must be understood, but before that – another element must be internalized: a press interview is not a bonus given in exchange for good behavior, and its prevention is not a retaliation for a bad action. The same is true when it comes to robbing millions, raping or murdering a prime minister. Understanding how an offender acts is one of the only proven ways that can frustrate him. The question of course, is how it is presented. If Abrushmi had run into politics or started a new business, there might have been room to consider whether to support him in a public relations campaign and give legitimacy in exchange for traffic or ratings.
And what about the incitement or legitimacy that certain factors may receive from Abrushmi’s remarks? Of course, there is no orderly or clear formula for preventing them. The question that needs to be asked is whether these do not exist even without such articles. In both cases, these have one answer: criminal law. The dozens of complaints that reached the second authority after the interview was broadcast suffer from a misunderstanding of the role of the media, but it is precisely the complaints that reached Abrushmi himself to the police that are unquestionably true.
David Wertheim is the editor of the market share and consumer section at “Globes”