The Limits of Freedom of Expression

Dennis Hill Flickr ©

On November 4, 1995, a peace rally was held in Tel Aviv which ended with the assassination of then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.  The event was preceded by a political storm that shook the Israeli public.

At the heart of the storm were the peace accords that Rabin sought to sign with Israel's neighbors, the Palestinians.  The accords included giving up control of Palestinian cities.  Opposition to the accords among large segments of the political right in Israel led to major demonstrations that were held all across the country.  During those demonstrations large and divisive placards were raised accompanied by disturbing, personal cries directed against Yitzhak Rabin.

The murder of the former Prime Minister was followed by claims that those cries encouraged Rabin's assassin to take action and carry out his evil scheme.  These claims tested the foundations of one of the most important, yet potentially explosive, democratic values in a system of democratic rule.  That fundamental value is called 'freedom of expression'.

In the following activities we will inquire into the meaning of 'freedom of expression' as a fundamental value.  We will understand why it is so important as well as the advantages and dangers in positioning it as a fundamental value.  We will examine the complexity of this value and its expressions in our lives in Israel and the Diaspora.

Target Audience:
High School

Number of lessons:
1, 2-5Flexible

Mifgash Type:
Exchange ProductsOnline Activities

Educational Standards:
Sense of belonging to the Jewish People

Connection and commitment to Israel

Created by:
Global School Twinning Network in cooperation with Rabin Center

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