Bill outlawing foreign ownership of Israeli newspapers submitted to Knesset

Bill condemning foreign

A number of MKs from both the coalition and opposition submitted a bill to the Knesset on Wednesday in hopes of preventing foreigners from owning Israeli newspapers. The MKs, among them Yoel Hason (Kadima), Daniel Ben-Simon (Labor) and Ahmed Tibi (Taal-United Arab List), stated that they wished to change the world of Israeli journalism by ensuring that "someone who is not a resident of the state and whose life is not based in Israel should not take possession of a publication by use of money, in order to promote clear interests." The bill stipulates that individuals who are not citizens and residents of Israel must not be permitted to obtain a license to own a newspaper. Its initiators specifically cited Israel Hayom, a Right-leaning newspaper owned by American casino-magnate Sheldon Adelson. In order to preserve Israel's democracy, stressed the MKs, foreigners with foreign interests must be prohibited from manipulating the press. The limitations proposed by the bill would not be placed on newspapers published in east Jerusalem, nor would they be placed on The Jerusalem Post, which was owned in the past by an American corporation.