PM defends controversial amendment to libel law

Prime Minister Binyanin Netanyahu defended Monday a controversial amendment to the libel law that would raise the court imposed penalty on libel, saying "no one will tell the media what to write and what to investigate."
"I was raised on the values of Begin and Jabotinsky...Israel will continue to be a strong democracy," Netanyahu said during the weekly Likud faction meeting in Jerusalem, adding "Freedom of expression will exist in all parts of society."
The bill has fired up the media community over fears that the government is seeking to limit freedom of press.
On Sunday a large group of veteran and amateur journalists gathered in Tel Aviv's Cinematheque to protest the amendment to the libel law, which would increase the fine for libel from NIS 50,000 to NIS 300,000.
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