American Influence on Israeli Law: Freedom of Expression

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Book Chapter

Publication Date



Robert O. Freedman


Westview Press




This chapter provides a historical overview of the American influence on Israel’s jurisprudence of freedom of expression from the 1950s to the first decade of the twenty first century. The chapter uses the format of decades, presenting representative cases for each decade, to record the process by which Israeli judges incorporated and sometimes rejected themes from the U.S. jurisprudence of freedom of expression. In the course of discussing the jurisprudential themes the chapter also highlights the historical context in which the cases were decided, from the war in Korea and McCarthyism in the 1950s, to the process of globalization which dominated the first decade of the twenty first century. The chapter asserts that over the decades the Israeli understanding of freedom of expression has matured so that today the appearance of U.S. law is invoked primarily for rhetorical purposes. In contrast to the 1950s, contemporary Israeli courts have enough authentic jurisprudence to guide them in their decisional law.

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