A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog on free press in Israel. As I stated in the blog, Israel is ranked at a 29 on a scale of 0 to 100, 0 being complete free press and 100 being no free press. At 29, Israel is considered to have full free press, even though there are some limitations. I’ve continued to think about this while asking myself a new question: can a country have free press without free speech, or vice versa?
In Israel, their press is subject to military sensor. Given the ongoing conflict in their area, I do understand this. However, military sensor implies that there is not actually free press. In terms of free speech, Israel has some laws, rulings and court hearings against it.
Israel still does have more free press and free speech than other countries around it, but they don’t have enough to have full rights to say and write what they would like. Although their press is mostly free, their speech is not. The more I contemplate this; I understand that a country cannot have one without the other. If you aren’t allowed to say something that you believe in public, how can you feel comfortable writing it?
Watch as this American Jew goes to Israel to calmly voice his opinions about certain policies towards Palestinians. Shortly after speaking, he was arrested by Israeli police. After watching the video, do you think Israel truly has free speech? Some say that he was disruptive, while others say that in America, he would definitely not have been arrested.
These two rights are something we should never take for granted. I used to, before realizing how precious and limited they were. For those that feel that these are important freedoms to fight for, we need to continue to express the importance and necessity of having the right to say and write what we would like. For those that are on the fence about whether freedom of speech and freedom of press are essential to society, think about if it’s possible to have one without the other. I may have drawn my conclusion, but what do you think?