Cover for Schejter: Muting Israeli Democracy: How Media and Cultural Policy Undermine Free Expression. Click for larger image
Ebook Information

Muting Israeli Democracy

How Media and Cultural Policy Undermine Free Expression

A trenchant analysis of free speech in Israeli media

Analyzing a wide range of legal documents recorded in Israel from 1961 to 2007, this book argues that the laws governing Israeli electronic media are structured to limit the boundaries of public discourse. Amit M. Schejter posits the theory of a "muted democracy," one in which electronic media are designed to provide a platform for some voices to be heard over others. While Israel's institutions may be democratic, and while the effect of these policies may be limited, Muting Israeli Democracy demonstrates in scrupulous detail how free speech in Israel is institutionally muted through the constraints and obligations set on electronic media to ensure the continued cultural domination of the Jewish majority and its preferred hegemonic interpretation of what Israel means as a Jewish-democratic state.

"The author displays enviable intellectual courage by sharply indicting Israel's broadcast media policies, despite being himself Jewish and a true believer in the Zionist idea of an independent homeland."--International Communication Research Journal

"This book addresses a critical feature of democracy and illustrates a frightening reality: despite the democratic nature of the State of Israel, Israeli media falls terribly short when dealing with the minority Arab population."--Jewish Book World

"Few are as experienced and and expert as [Schejter] is in the everyday realities of the Israeli media from the inside. His familiarity with the media institution from the inside renders the book particularly important and validates its main thesis. . . . The book challenges researchers' knowledge of Israeli democracy and provides an insightful overview of the Israeli broadcasting media."--Israel Studies Forum

"An excellent addition to the comparative literature on media regulation and free speech rights."--Free Speech Yearbook

"A refreshingly critical view of Israel as a 'muted democracy.' This newly coined term is likely to transcend the Israeli case, which is nevertheless fascinating in several unique ways. The book is likely to draw a heated debate not only among theorists of media policies and freedom of expression but also within the Israeli public sphere. If it does, this book could help combat the very evils it diagnoses."--Fania Oz-Salzberger, author of Israelis in Berlin

"Unveiling the case of Israel, Schejter offers a fascinating analysis of the media and media law in a vibrant sociopolitical context. It is a must read to observers, students, and scholars of comparative media studies, politics, and law."--Gad Barzilai, author of Communities and Law: Politics and Cultures of Legal Identities

"A fascinating and highly readable contribution to our understanding of the fragile state of Israeli democracy. Schejter shows how painfully complex the very distinction between a democracy and a non-democracy really is."--Daniel Dor, author of The Suppression of Guilt: The Israeli Media and the Reoccupation of the West Bank

"Based on meticulous and comprehensive research, this important work reassesses some of the tenets of traditional Zionist discourse and points critically to the roles that statism, cultural policies, and political economy have played in rendering the prevalent power imbalance in Israeli society."--Yaron Shemer, assistant professor of Israeli culture and modern Hebrew, University of North Carolina

Amit M. Schejter is an associate professor of communications and co-director of the Institute for Information Policy at Penn State University and a former attorney specializing in Israeli telecommunication and media law, policy, and regulation.

To order online:

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
Game Faces - Cover
Game Faces

Sport Celebrity and the Laws of Reputation

Sarah K. Fields

Investigated Reporting - Cover
Investigated Reporting

Muckrakers, Regulators, and the Struggle over Television Documentary

Chad Raphael

Speech Rights in America - Cover
Speech Rights in America

The First Amendment, Democracy, and the Media

Laura Stein

Photographic Presidents - Cover
Photographic Presidents

Making History from Daguerreotype to Digital

Cara A. Finnegan

Sexting Panic - Cover
Sexting Panic

Rethinking Criminalization, Privacy, and Consent

Amy Adele Hasinoff

Art and Freedom of Speech - Cover
Art and Freedom of Speech

Randall P. Bezanson

Ebony Magazine and Lerone Bennett Jr. - Cover
Ebony Magazine and Lerone Bennett Jr.

Popular Black History in Postwar America

E. James West

How Free Can the Press Be? - Cover
How Free Can the Press Be?

Randall P. Bezanson

How Free Can Religion Be? - Cover
How Free Can Religion Be?

Randall P. Bezanson

Front Pages, Front Lines - Cover
Front Pages, Front Lines

Media and the Fight for Women's Suffrage

Edited by Linda Steiner, Carolyn Kitch, and Brooke Kroeger

Community-Centered Journalism - Cover
Community-Centered Journalism

Engaging People, Exploring Solutions, and Building Trust

Andrea Wenzel

Democracy, Inc. - Cover
Democracy, Inc.

The Press and Law in the Corporate Rationalization of the Public Sphere

David S. Allen

Pleasure in the News - Cover
Pleasure in the News

African American Readership and Sexuality in the Black Press

Kim Gallon

Fighting Visibility - Cover
Fighting Visibility

Sports Media and Female Athletes in the UFC

Jennifer McClearen

Graphic News - Cover
Graphic News

How Sensational Images Transformed Nineteenth-Century Journalism

Amanda Frisken

Journalism and Jim Crow - Cover
Journalism and Jim Crow

White Supremacy and the Black Struggle for a New America

Edited by Kathy Roberts Forde and Sid Bedingfield