The Headquarters for the Salvation of the Nation and the Land cannot use the words "expulsion" or "destruction" to describe 2005's unilateral withdrawal from Gush Katif in paid advertisements on Israel Radio and the Second Authority for Television and Radio's Radio Kol Chai, the High Court of Justice has ruled.
The court said the words violated the rules and regulations regarding paid ads of both broadcasting authorities.
"We are talking about a loaded expression on a controversial subject," wrote presiding Justice Elyakim Rubinstein. "The petitioners themselves do not deny this. Therefore the subject falls within the prohibition included in the rules governing both broadcasting authorities."
Israel Radio and the Second Authority rejected an ad submitted by the right-wing petitioner that began, "As we mark three years since the destruction and expulsion from Gush Katif..."
According to another ad, "On the fast of Tisha Be'av and the days around it, we light a memorial candle to mark the expulsion from Gush Katif."
Attorney Aviad Visuli, who represented the petitioner, argued that there was nothing wrong with describing what happened in Gush Katif as an expulsion.
"We are talking about the forced transfer of the residents of Gush Katif by 60,000 soldiers, policemen and others, despite the opposition of more than 95 percent of the residents. According to both international law and the dictionary, the only word that can describe this forced move is 'expulsion,' as opposed to 'uprooting' or 'evacuation,'" he said.
Visuli also argued that logically, if the word "expulsion" had political connotations, so must the word "evacuation."
But Rubinstein insisted that both the rules governing both broadcasting authorities, and previous High Court rulings, made it clear that the authorities were correct in rejecting the paid ads. According to Article 5 of the rules for paid ads and announcements on Israel Radio, "political propaganda or a broadcast regarding a matter that is politically ideologically controversial among the public..." is defined as prohibited advertisement.
The Second Authority rule is similarly worded.
Rubinstein pointed out that in a similar case brought before the High Court, the majority opinion had been that the restrictions on freedom of expression applied by both authorities to paid ads regarding controversial political matters did not violate the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Freedom and were therefore constitutional.