Mut­ing Israeli Democ­ra­cy: How Media and Cul­tur­al Pol­i­cy Under­mine Free Expression

Amit M. Schejter
  • Review
By – August 26, 2011
This book address­es a crit­i­cal fea­ture of democ­ra­cy and illus­trates a fright­en­ing real­i­ty: despite the demo­c­ra­t­ic nature of the State of Israel, Israeli media falls ter­ri­bly short when deal­ing with the minor­i­ty Arab pop­u­la­tion.
Schejter points out just how lop­sided Israeli media is in the way it cov­ers and rep­re­sents Israeli Arabs to Israelis. This is not a ques­tion of left or right or agree or dis­agree; it is not about giv­ing valid­i­ty to one side over the oth­er. The author’s argu­ment is clear. Almost no Arab minori­ties are rep­re­sent­ed in the media — nor seen on TV, heard on radio, or as mem­bers of dis­cus­sion groups.
Schejter explains how the absence of Arab rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the media is detri­men­tal not only to the way in which greater Israeli soci­ety under­stands the Arab minor­i­ty, but also to the way in which the Arab pop­u­la­tion views itself with­in Israel soci­ety.
The abo­li­tion­ist Wen­dell Phillips once said: gov­ern­ments exist to pro­tect the rights of minori­ties. The loved and the rich need no pro­tec­tion.…” The real test of a democ­ra­cy lies in how it pro­tects minor­i­ty rights.
Mic­ah D. Halpern is a colum­nist and a social and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Ter­ror, and main­tains The Mic­ah Report at www​.mic​ah​halpern​.com.

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