Is Law Appropriate to Regulate Hateful and Racist Speech: The Israeli Experience

The Israel Studies Review, Vol. 27, Issue 2 (Winter 2012), pp. 41-64

24 Pages Posted: 2 Jan 2013  

Raphael Cohen-Almagor

University of Hull

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

This article examines the tension between liberalism and Orthodoxy in Israel as it relates to censorship. The first section aims to explain Israel’s vulnerability as a multicultural democracy in a hostile region, with significant schisms that divide the nation. The next section presents the dilemma: should Israel employ legal mechanisms to counter hate speech and racism? The third section details the legal framework, while the fourth reviews recent cases in which political radicals were prosecuted for incitement to racism. The final section discusses cases in which football supporters were charged with incitement after chanting “Death to Arabs” during matches. I argue that the state should consider the costs and risks of allowing hate speech and balance these against the costs and risks to democracy and free speech that are associated with censorship.

Keywords: Arabs, bigotry, education, football, freedom of expression, hate, incitement, Israel, laws, racism, tolerance

JEL Classification: Z00

Suggested Citation

Cohen-Almagor, Raphael, Is Law Appropriate to Regulate Hateful and Racist Speech: The Israeli Experience (2012). The Israel Studies Review, Vol. 27, Issue 2 (Winter 2012), pp. 41-64. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2195318

Raphael Cohen-Almagor (Contact Author)

University of Hull ( email )

Cottingham Road
Hull, Great Britain HU6 7RX
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.hull.ac.uk/rca

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