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Israeli Journalists Divided Over Calls to Censor Critical New Song

September 10, 1987|Associated Press

JERUSALEM — A popular new song that accuses reporters of causing bloodshed has prompted some Israeli journalists to demand that state radio censor the tune.

Reporters say that the song, "My Little Journalist," incites violence against the press.

The tune, sung by rock singer Arik Einstein, became an overnight hit on its release earlier this month.

The Hebrew-language tune charges that reporters "write whatever they want." It goes on:

How do you sleep at night, my little journalist, how do you sleep?

What do you dream about at night, after you've spilled blood? How do you sleep, man?

They write in the newspapers what they want, they castrate and vilify without mercy.

The controversy has split Israeli journalists into two camps: those who want it banned and those who argue that reporters should not advocate censorship in a nation where news reports are often censored on grounds of state security.

"There is . . . hypocrisy in calling to ban the song," said Israel radio director Uri Porat. "Freedom of speech does not belong to journalists alone. Einstein has just as much right."

Some prominent journalists, as well, have defended the song.

"Journalists are quite used to slandering, but they are very, very sensitive when they are slandered," said Uri Avneri, editor of the leftist weekly magazine Haolam Hazeh. "If they are entitled to write about Arik Einstein, he is entitled to sing about them."

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