Blue Pencil

Candid talk of censorship

An Israeli civilian, employed by the Defense Ministry, stood before an audience of high school students in Tel Aviv and casually described how he and his colleagues oversee the work of foreign correspondents reporting from Israel. "We hear all their phone calls, check every story they send, and even garble their telex cable transmissions when they move stories that can harm us," the bureaucrat explained. The admission was extraordinary. Although Israel regularly censors reports by domestic and foreign journalists on a broad range of subjects, on the ground that it is necessary to do so to protect national...

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