Democracy and freedom of speech are still in force; legal interpretation

The law protects the words of Ehud Barak and Yair Golan who called for a non-violent civil uprising

עיתון בין אויבים

A newspaper among enemies

The threat to democracy, freedom and liberties from the coalition is so deep and powerful that Israeli law now seems fragile and helpless to protect democracy. But alongside this recognition, the coalition's moves cause a deep and thorough examination of the law, to nevertheless find protections for the deep essence of our lives and the resurrection. It becomes clear then that the law allows the expression to be stretched and refined if there is an overriding public intention. The law, for example, also obliges the Shin Bet to defend democracy, for everything this might say about its authority to act against those trying to destroy it. The law may also allow legal action against the police if indeed they change policy and intend to act violently against the people of Israel in the streets, which has almost single-handedly stopped (since there is no press in Israel that can be trusted as it is free from substantial political or economic influence) in the last six months, the attempts to overthrow the regime in Israel. Our legal commentator, former vice president of the Central District Court, details and clarifies the law


                                                                                    By Avraham Yaakov, our legal commentator


In recent days, we have heard both Ehud Barak and Yair Golan calling for non-violent "civil uprising " as a response and protest the legal coup that the government intends to carry out and has even begun to carry out. Yair Golan even went on to say that he also calls for the execution of illegal actions, as much as necessary. In a nutshell, it will be said that the government's intention is to bring about, in the end, the abolition of the separation of powers and the removal of any valuable supervision over the government's actions, so that it can operate without restriction. The meaning of this is a dictatorial regime that has the power to violate the basic rights that each of us has today.

After Barak and Golan made their statements, some of the government ministers were alarmed and called on the legal adviser to the government to order the police to investigate the two on suspicion of committing the crime of sedition. Is it indeed the crime of sedition or is its political persecution that the government persecutes its critics and those who protest against it?

The Penal Code defines in section 136 what sedition is, as follows:

  1. Regarding this sign, "to rebel" is one of the following:

(1) bring about hatred, contempt or disloyalty to the state or its legally established governing or judicial authorities;

(2) to incite or provoke the inhabitants of the land to try to achieve, in non-kosher ways, the change of something that is based on the law;

(3) to arouse reluctance or displeasure among the inhabitants of the land;

(4) to provoke hatred and enmity between different parts of the population.


However, in section 138, the Penal Code qualifies and states that these actions will not be considered sedition:


  1. An act, speech or publication is not considered sedition, if its tendency is none other than one of the following:

(1) to prove that the government was misled or mistaken in the act it did;

(2) to denounce errors or defects in the laws of the state or its regulations, or in one of their legally established institutions, or in the government and legal regulations, all in order to bring about the correction of the errors or defects;

(3) to convince the citizens of the country or its inhabitants to try to bring about in kosher ways to change something that is based on the law;

(4) To denounce, with the aim of eliminating, things that provoke or may provoke hatred or feelings of hostility between different parts of the population.


For the benefit of those demanding the investigation, I am willing to assume that the words of the two, all or some of them, fall within the scope of Article 136 and can, perhaps narrowly, be defined as sedition. However, there is, and there can be no doubt, that the statements of the two are covered under the protection of Article 138(2) which states that an act, speech or publication whose purpose is to denounce errors or defects in the laws of the state or its order will not be considered sedition. or in one of their legally established institutions, or in the governmental and judicial systems, and all to bring about the correction of the mistakes or defects.

If it is defined and declared by all parties that the State of Israel was, is, and will be a democratic state, the legal coup that occurs in our country must be seen as a mistake or flaw in the government and legal systems that are allowed to be taken against them in actions that would otherwise be considered sedition. Therefore, there is no doubt that Barak and Golan have not committed any crime and their actions and statements are completely legal.

The conclusion is that the government seeks to harm its critics and those who oppose it in any way, including by using the police illegally when there is and cannot be any doubt that no offense has been committed!