Israeli government censors book about love

This video from Israel says about itself:


3 November 2015


From daily Haaretz in Israel:

Principals, Teachers Decry Banning of Arab-Jewish Love Story From Schools

Fear is overtaking reason, teachers association says, after Education Ministry rejects novel about relationship between Israeli woman and Palestinian man.

Or Kashti and Jonathan Lis Dec 31, 2015 5:31 PM

From daily The Guardian in Britain, 1 January 2016:

Novel about Jewish-Palestinian love affair is barred from Israeli curriculum

Government accused of censorship after reportedly saying the award-winning Borderlife by Dorit Rabinyan risked damaging the ‘identity of the nation’

From the New York Times in the USA:

Isaac Herzog of the center-left Zionist Union, which leads the parliamentary opposition, said on Facebook on Thursday: “Tell me, are the People of the Book afraid of books? Are the People of the Book afraid of stories? Or would it be more accurate to say that their education minister is afraid of books and stories? This is a dark worldview that does not believe in the judgment of the public, or a younger generation that is much more involved than previous generations.”

Mr. Herzog said he bought several copies of Ms. Rabinyan’s “wonderful” book on Thursday. Several bookstores said they had sold out of the novel, which tells the story of an Israeli woman from Tel Aviv who falls in love with a Palestinian born in the West Bank city of Hebron after a chance encounter in New York.

Ms. Rabinyan, the author, said that the book was not meant to be provocative. “Let’s say that it’s strength lies in its subtlety,” she told Ynet in a video interview. “Perhaps there is even a conservative Zionist stance in it,” she said, but she added that whoever read it in the education ministry clearly did not read it from that perspective. The book, she said, was “only a mirror” of the complexity of life in Israel.

Thailand military dictatorship bans New York Times, again

New York Times, uncensored

First, a military junta overthrew a democratically elected government in Thailand.

Then, the military dictatorship censored the Internet.

Then, the military dictatorship banned George Orwell’s novel 1984.

Then, the military dictatorship banned the New York Times.

Now, the military dictatorship has banned the New York Times again.

New York Times, as censored in Thailand

See NOS TV in the Netherlands today.

Or see Voz Is Neias today:

Bangkok – The printer of the International New York Times in Thailand refused to print an article portraying a gloomy outlook for the country, leaving in its place a large blank space at the center of Tuesday’s front page.

The printing company called the story too “sensitive” but declined to specify the offending material.

The article, titled “Thai spirits sagging with the economy” in the paper’s other Asian editions, described a moribund economy, pessimism after years of political turmoil and concern about the royal succession. The military took power in a May 2014 coup, and elections that were promised have been put off until at least 2017.

Discussion of the monarchy has always been a delicate matter in Thailand, where strict laws limit frank discussion of the royal family. But freedom of speech has been constricted even further under the military government, prompting many publications and reporters to self-censor to avoid offending the junta.

In place of the article was a two-line note that said: “The article in this space was removed by our printer in Thailand. The International New York Times and its editorial staff had no role in its removal.”

“It’s sensitive,” said the official, who declined to give her name for that reason. …

Beyond highlighting a general sour mood among Thais, the article touches on the eventual succession of the ailing 87-year-old king. Insulting the monarchy is punishable by three to 15 years in prison.

Another blank space appeared on page 6, where the rest of the article was to run. However, the article was still available online to readers in Thailand.

This is the second time in three months that the newspaper’s local printer has blocked publication of a piece about Thailand. The printer decided not to publish the entire Sept. 22 edition because it contained an article about the future of the Thai monarchy that it also called “too sensitive to print.”

Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for The New York Times, said it was notified about the printer’s decision, but that the newspaper played no role in it.

Murphy said there have been rare instances in other countries where printers have chosen not to publish stories because they were deemed too sensitive. “We understand the pressures local publishers sometimes face, but we regret any censorship of our journalism,” she wrote in an email.

The newspaper, known until 2013 as the International Herald Tribune, announced recently that it was ceasing printing and distributing its print edition in Thailand as of year-end. In a letter to subscribers, it attributed the decision to rising operating costs.

The junta, which has curbed dissent through intimidation and detentions, also has said that defense of the monarchy is its priority, and has vigorously pursued prosecutions under the law. Over the past year, there has been a significant increase in convictions.

In a 41-page report on Thailand issued last month, the Paris-based press freedom group Reporters Without Borders noted that due to censorship, threats and harassment of the media and increasing use of repressive laws, the country “is now seen as one of the region’s most authoritarian regimes as regards journalists and freedom of information.”

Turkish journalists jailed for reporting government-ISIS links

This video from the USA says about itself:

Turkish Government Caught Helping ISIS

29 July 2015

Cenk Uygur (host of The Young Turks) discusses a recent report of Turkish officials helping ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Cenk breaks down the evidence that Turkey turned a blind eye to the vast smuggling networks and may have even cooperated.

Read more here.

If, as this blog said, Tony Blair is figuratively the godfather of ISIS, then these terrorists have various ‘godbrothers’ as well. Including President Erdogan of Turkey.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Turkey: Journalists face jail for revealing Isis backing

Friday 27th November 2015

TWO TURKISH journalists could face jail for exposing government arms smuggling to Islamic State (Isis).

Turkish media reported yesterday that state prosecutor Irfan Fidan requested arrest warrants for Cumhuriyet editor Can Dundar and the newspaper’s Ankara correspondent Erdem Gul following questioning.

Mr Fidan sought to charge the pair with membership of a terror organisation and espionage, which carry sentences of up to 20 years.

Cumhuriyet published images in May of Turkish lorries carrying ammunition to Isis militants.

The images were from January 2014, when local authorities searched Syria-bound vehicles leading to a standoff with Turkish intelligence officials.

Dutch seventeenth century paintings censored by British royal

A Village Fair with a Church Behind, by Isaac van Ostade, censored version

After what happened to Bronzino … after what happened to Nicolas Poussin … after what Silvio Berlusconi did to Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Prudish British monarch had Dutch painting painted over

Today, 17:51

A man crouching in a corner of the market, defecating. The British royal family did not like that and had the 1643 Dutch painting painted over. Curators from the private collection of Buckingham Palace have found out, and have restored the painting.

It involves A Village Fair with a Church Behind by Isaac van Ostade. The discovery was made in the preparations for an exhibition of masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age.


In 1810 the painting was purchased by King George IV. But he is, according to the British curator, not responsible for the censorship of the scene. “He was a man of the world and had no problems with indecent scenes.” One of his successors who appreciated the scene less will have ordered this camouflage.

Quinten Buvelot, curator at the Mauritshuis museum, says it is not clear when the censorship was done, but is not surprised. “In the Victorian era, people were more prudish. This happened at many more times.”

Buvelot is on behalf of the Mauritshuis involved in the exhibition. He calls the find no exception. “The Dutch painters showed many details. Also a different painting from that collection was painted over.”

Jan Steen painting, uncensored version

That is a Jan Steen from 1673. On it, a man peeing was painted over. An X-ray scan discovered that detail earlier, and the work was restored.

The Dutch curator is pleased that the paintings will soon hang in their original state in the The Hague museum. “You want to show them as the artist intended.”

Starting next week, you can see the 27 paintings at Buckingham Palace in London. End of September next year, the exhibition will travel to the Netherlands. Until early 2017 the works will be in the Mauritshuis in The Hague.

Queen’s restorers discover man relieving himself in royal collection painting – but can you find him in the picture? Here. See also here.

Stop Turkish government attacks on journalists

This video says about itself:

Why did Turkey arrest Vice News journalists? BBC News

2 September 2015

Media rights groups have condemned Turkey for arresting two British journalists, Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury. The were detained on terror-related charges while on assignment in the country. Head of News Programming for VICE Europe, Kevin Sutcliffe explains what is being done to secure their release.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Journalists back under-fire Turkish colleagues

Friday 23rd October 2015

by Our Foreign Desk

INTERNATIONAL media unions declared their solidarity yesterday with Turkish colleagues under attack from the ruling AKP party.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) along with the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) adopted a declaration in Istanbul.

Among the demands was that Turkey investigate attacks on journalists and media outlets, including recent incidents targeting newspaper Hurriyet and columnist Ahmet Hakan.

Seven international press freedom organisations were also part of the three-day international mission to Turkey this week that led to the declaration.

The IFJ and EFJ highlighted the pressures faced by Turkish journalists, especially those working in media controlled by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and during the recent election period.

Their representative Patrick Kamenka said: “Our colleagues are under heavy pressures, especially when a group of media is in the hands of the AKP regime, when public TV RTR is not playing the role of pluralism of information.

“The IFJ and EFJ must support our affiliate TGS in its difficult union task as pressures are strong in a context of 30 per cent unemployment and low salaries,” he added.

TGS general secretary Mustafa Kuleli stressed the importance of solidarity with Turkish journalists standing up to intimidation. “It is again up to us to save ourselves,” he said.

Terrorist massacre and government censorship in Turkey

This 10 October 2015 video shows a demonstration in Paris, France, protesting against the terrorist massacre in Ankara, Turkey.

On Sunday afternoon, there will be more solidarity demonstrations in France: here.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Ankara terror attack: Turkey censors media coverage of bombings as Twitter and Facebook ‘blocked’

The government has issued a ban on broadcasting footage of the blast at a peace rally

Lizzie Dearden

Saturday 10 October 2015 15:57 BST

The Turkish government has censored news coverage of the terror attack in Ankara as Twitter and other social media sites went down across the country.

State media watchdog the Turkish Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) imposed a ban on broadcasting images of the blast.

A statement by RTÜK released on its official website said that; “The Turkish Prime Minister has imposed a temporary broadcast ban regarding the terror attack conducted in Ankara this morning.”

A government spokesperson said the order covered images showing the moment of the blast, gruesome or bloody images or those “that create a feeling of panic”.

He warned media organisations they could face a “full blackout” if they did not comply.

Meanwhile, Turks reported that Twitter had been blocked on some of the country’s most popular networks, including Turkcell and TTNET.

Some people also said they were unable to access Facebook in the wake of the blasts.

Social media blackouts have been imposed with increasing frequency in Turkey in recent years, sparking protests and international criticism.

Index on Censorship classes the country as only “partly free” and the British Government has been among those raising concerns about blocks on social media and the treatment of journalists.

An award-winning Turkish journalist is being prosecuted for “insulting” the President and two Britons were among three Vice News journalists charged with “aiding a terrorist organisation” in August, prompting an intervention by the Foreign Secretary.

Anger was mounting at the government’s response to the bombing, which could be the deadliest terror attack in Turkey’s history.

Selami Altinok, the Interior Minister, refused to resign when questioned by journalists after the bombing and insisted that there were no security flaws.

Hundreds of people were gathering for a peace rally, organised by trade unions and supported by the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), when two explosions hit the crowd.

Footage showed a line of men and women holding hands while doing a traditional dance and singing as the explosions started, sending people screaming and running for cover.

They struck 50 metres apart as hundreds of people gathered near Ankara Central Station for a rally denouncing the violence between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants.

In a statement, the HDP said it believed its supporters were the “main target of the attacks” and criticised police for allegedly tear gassing survivors who were trying to help the injured.

The health ministry put the death toll at 86, with at least 186 people wounded, by Saturday afternoon.

Ankara terror attack: Protesters clash with police after ambulances ‘blocked’ following explosions. Protesters claimed police prevented ambulances taking the wounded to hospital in the wake of the bombing: here.

Ankara explosions: Video captures moment bomb goes off as singing protesters call for peace: here.

Ankara attacks: innocent hearts beating for peace are brutally stopped. World must hear call of countless people in Turkey who are determined to defend peace and democracy, says award-winning novelist Elif Shafak: here.

Ankara explosions: Isis emerge as suspects as death toll rises to 95: here.

Ankara explosions: Mourners chant anti-government slogans as death toll rises to 128: here.

Turkey bomb blasts: government blamed as thousands take to streets in Ankara. Mourners and protesters gather in Turkish capital, blaming Erdoġan’s government for twin bomb attacks in which over 100 civilians died: here.

[Kurdish] PKK, not Islamic State, is Erdogan’s real target: here.