Netanyahu shelves controversial broadcasting law

Israeli PM Netanyahu says he will postpone newly-passed law banning journalists of country's public broadcast authority from expressing their opinions on air

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem September 6, 2015

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that he will postpone a newly-passed law which prevents the journalists working for the country's public broadcast authority from expressing their opinions on air.

The legislation which requires broadcasts, should "avoid one-sidedness, prejudice, expressing personal opinions, giving grades and affixing labels’’ passed on Thursday.

The contested law drew harsh criticisms from many journalists, who accused the government of trying to supress the opposition.

Accordingly, the Israel Press Council urged parliament to cancel the law, saying it violates free speech.

Following Netanyahu's withdrawal, Minister Ofir Akunis who pushed for the legislation, announced on Friday his resignation as a minister responsible for the Israel Broadcasting Authority and the Second Authority for Television and Radio. Akunis will remain as information, technology and space minister.

Akunis said that he couldn't keep performing with such a "lack of backing."

TRTWorld and agencies