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Saturday, March 22, 2014 

Jewish Home MK doing a terrible disservice by supporting a bill designed to harm Israel HaYom newspaper

One of Jewish Home's members has supported a bill apparently crafted for the sake of helping the left-wing Yediot Achronot newspaper, by trying to force Israel HaYom to charge money instead of distributing for free, and it's drawn justifiable outrage:
Habayit Hayehudi faction head Ayelet Shaked's support of a bill that would prohibit the free distribution of the Israel Hayom newspaper has angered many of her party's members.

On Thursday, Habayit Hayehudi's "secular camp" issued a statement criticizing the bill and siding with Senior Citizens Minister Uri Orbach, who has also condemned it. The group in question was established by Habayit Hayehudi head Naftali Bennett and his advisers, who continue to direct it. Some in the party are wondering how Bennett's people could oppose a bill authored by Shaked, especially given that Bennett also supports the legislation, although he has not yet made a statement to that effect.

"Bayit Meshutaf -- the secular camp of Habayit Hayehudi -- wants to express its regret over the proposal and the strong-arm attempt to hurt market forces," the statement read. "The media market is indeed competitive, and every newspaper has the right to operate as it sees fit to position itself vis-à-vis its competitors. As citizens, we are obliged to keep encouraging competition in every sector to demand the best products from business owners," it said.

"Prohibitions and limitations must not be imposed through legislation if they fundamentally harm the free market and private property," the statement said.

There is a sense in Habayit Hayehudi that this statement, which is in essence the first time the secular camp has attacked a party MK, stems from Bennett's assessment that other than Shaked and himself, he will have difficulty finding any party members who support the bill -- much less a majority.
While some may assume such a bill doesn't come to pass, that doesn't mean it's not possible. And it certainly doesn't reflect well on Shaked. The paper has staffers who spoke in her favor, and this is how she thanks them?

Here's an op-ed telling how a Labor party MK, who supported a bill that would free up Israelis from having to pay TV taxes, is taking an entirely different path with free newspapers, apparently for the sake of Yediot Achronot's head honcho. This bill being proposed is wrong, and if any on the right like Shaked support it, that'll reflect very poorly on them.

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