What’s Wrong with this Video?

In the video below, activist Dafni Leef, Ethiopian-born model Titi Aynaw, Israeli Arab singer-songwriter Mira Awad, Miss Israel 2014 Doron Matalon, actor Michael Lewis and others talk about what human rights means to them. Unfortunately, some sentences in the video were flagged by the Second Authority for Television and Radio as controversial and as a result the video was taken off the air.

The following statement by ACRI Executive Director, Sharon Abraham-Weiss, sets out the situation:

“It turns out that in 2016 Israel, the sentence “I am also gay,” is unacceptable for broadcast because it is “controversial.” The sentences “the right to speak Arabic without fear” and “No equality, no liberation, no dignity” were also deemed unacceptable (whose continuation, “in a place that doesn’t protect human rights,” was not censored). These three dangerous sentences led the Second Authority to reject the video we wanted to broadcast during Human Rights Week.

In a fragmented and divided society like Israel, every subject is controversial. But there are also subjects, like defending human rights – something that should be central in our lives and openly debated without restrictions. In a democratic society, how can the very concept of human rights, equality and minority rights be considered controversial when they are the foundations on which democratic societies are based?!

The decision to reject the broadcast stunned us. It signals a new low point in the deterioration of the state of democracy and freedom of speech for all of us. What is next? What else will we find out is unacceptable to say?

ACRI is not giving up. “We have asked the attorney general of the Second Authority to instruct the commercial department to immediately cancel the rejection of our broadcast, and we are prepared to go to court. We will continue fighting for freedom of speech and human rights.”

You can watch the video here:

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January 2017