Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he will scrap a newly-passed law banning journalists working for the country’s public broadcast authority from expressing their opinions on air.
Netanyahu’s office did not say when the contested legislation will be reversed. The law, passed early Thursday, drew criticism from journalists, who accused the government of trying to stifle dissent. The law said broadcasts should “avoid one-sidedness, prejudice, expressing personal opinions, giving grades and affixing labels.” The Israel Press Council urged parliament to cancel the law, saying it violates free speech. Following Netanyahu’s about-face, the Cabinet minister who pushed for the legislation resigned from his role overseeing public broadcasting. Ofir Akunis, one of Netanyahu’s closest confidantes, says he couldn’t keep functioning with such a “lack of backing.”