Press Council Rejects Complaints Against Haaretz's Gideon Levy

Rules 'a democratic society must protect right of every individual to express opinions liable to incense majority.'

Channel 2 News

The Israel Press Council on Monday rejected complaints made against Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy over columns he wrote at the start of Operation Protective Edge.

The complaints were leveled against the columns "Lowest deeds from loftiest heights," in which he lambasted air force pilots for bombing Gazan homes without protest, and "Israel's real purpose in Gaza operation? To kill Arabs."

The Press Council's legal advisers allowed that Levy's columns had indeed infuriated many people in a time of war, but stated, "A democratic society must protect the right of every individual to express opinions that are liable to incense the majority, and in any event, Levy's writings did not violate the council's code of journalist ethics."

After his column on pilots, Levy gave an interview from a sidewalk in Ashkelon to Channel 2, but was compelled to cut it short as passersby accosted him. As a result of threats he began receiving, Levy hired bodyguards, and said he was being verbally harassed on the street and in cafes.