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The Censors Are Watching

The Defense Ministry employs 58 civilian censors to scrutinize the mail of persons under security surveillance. The public was largely unaware of this until recent proposals to eliminate the censors because of cuts in the defense budget were reported in the media. The censors operate under regulations of the British Mandate regime which Israel never revoked. They have the right to examine every piece of mail leaving the country. According to Haaretz, their activities were disclosed by a former senior Treasury official, Yaacov Gadish, who made public his own plans for deep cuts in government spending. One of his proposals was abolition of civilian censors in the defense establishment.