(A bill aggravates sentences against anyone who criticises the Israeli occupying army as a whole, not just a soldier. From an Israeli perspective, this tarnishes the army’s reputation. According to the bill, a person or organisation will be charged with “libel and defamation”. Clearly, the bill targets Israeli and other human rights organisations, which publish reports on crimes.)
Initiator: Yoav Kish and others
Bill No. 4766/20/F
On Wednesday, 6 December, the Knesset plenum approved a bill, which expands the scope of the definition of “libel and defamation” to also include anyone who criticises the Israeli occupying army as a whole, not just an individual soldier, in a manner which Israel considers to be “tarnishing the army’s reputation”. According to its explanatory note, the bill clearly targets anyone who attacks the crimes committed by the Israeli army. In particular, the bill makes reference to Israeli and other human rights and peace organisations, which publish reports on these crimes. Although it suffices that Israel denies the crimes, charging instruments will be filed against those who release the said reports.
Representing all the coalition blocs as well as the opposition party Yesh Atid (There is a Future), 61 MKs were in favour of the bill. By contrast, 33 MKs from the opposition parties Zionist Camp, Joint List and Meretz voted against the bill. Attached is the list of votes.