JERUSALEM (Feb. 27)
An all-out offensive against Government censorship of the press was launched here today by the Israeli Students Union which announced that the last issue of its organ, Nitzot (Sparks), was forced to eliminate a cartoon found offensive by two representatives of Prime Minister Levi Eshkol’s office.
The incident is the second involving Government censorship revealed here recently. A week ago, it was discovered that two editors of the illustrated magazine Bul (Stamp) had been secretly tried, convicted, and sentenced to one-year prison terms for publishing material found by the Government to have violated the State Security law.
According to the Students Union, publication of the last issue of Nitzot was held up when the editors of the student publication refused to eliminate a cartoon to which the Premier’s representatives, Adi Jaffe and Sharon Keidan, objected. The issue was finally released today, with the cartoon deleted.
The lead editorial in the independent and influential morning daily, Haaretz, criticized the censorship and revealed that even Haaretz was censored when it was forbidden to run a story about a meeting of the Students Union on the cartoon matter. In its leading editorial, today, Haaretz asked: “Is this information also top secret? Is it against the security of the state?”
Maariv, the leading evening daily, said today that the latest instance of Government censorship of the press “presents an unwholesome trend” forcing Israeli citizens to complain to the foreign press, asking the latter “to right what they believe is wrong. ” At the same time, however, Maariv deplored the “stubborn refusal” of the student paper to agree to the elimination of the cartoon, and regretted the fact that the students made the affair public.