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Geoffrey Bindman

Antisemitism is hostility to Jews as Jews, but defining antisemitism is complicated by Zionism and the existence of the State of Israel. The fundamental right to freedom of expression is threatened by the misuse of a definition of antisemitism and claimed examples of antisemitic conduct that encourage confusion between antisemitism and criticism of the policies and practices of the Israeli government and its institutions. The right to express criticism and to debate such policies and practices must not be suppressed by reliance on unsubstantiated claims of antisemitism.

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Separating Church and State

The Atlantic Divide

James Q. Whitman

Americans commonly believe that their country is unique in its commitment to the separation of church and state. Yet by the European measure, the American separation of church and state looks strikingly weak, since Americans permit religious rhetoric to permeate their politics and even cite the Bible in court. In light of these striking differences, this article argues that it is wrong to imagine that there is some single correct measure of the separation of church and state. Instead, northern continental Europe and the United States have evolved two different patterns, whose historical roots reach back into the Middle Ages. In northern continental Europe, unlike the United States, historic church functions have been absorbed by the state. The consequences of this historic divergence extend beyond familiar questions of the freedom of religious expression, touching on matters as diverse as welfare policy and criminal law.

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Raphael Cohen-Almagor

This article examines the tension between liberalism and Orthodoxy in Israel as it relates to censorship. The first section aims to explain Israel's vulnerability as a multicultural democracy in a hostile region, with significant schisms that divide the nation. The next section presents the dilemma: should Israel employ legal mechanisms to counter hate speech and racism? The third section details the legal framework, while the fourth reviews recent cases in which political radicals were prosecuted for incitement to racism. The final section discusses cases in which football supporters were charged with incitement after chanting “Death to Arabs“ during matches. I argue that the state should consider the costs and risks of allowing hate speech and balance these against the costs and risks to democracy and free speech that are associated with censorship.

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Censorship as Freedom of Expression

The Tailor and Ansty Revisited

Maryann Gialanella Valiulis

Censorship laws were introduced in the Irish Free State in 1928 and sparked immediate controversy among intellectuals, the media, and the political classes. The issue of censorship became the center of a conversation about Irish national identity. It was, in part, an assertion of independence and a conscious rejection of colonialism, an attempt to decide what stories would be told about them, what image they would portray to the world. In 1942, one text in particular sparked a renewal of the censorship controversy: Eric Cross's book, The Tailor and Ansty, which was banned because it was a realistic portrayal of Irish peasant life that was unacceptable to post-colonial Ireland, and because the author, an English folklorist, was perceived to be trying to undermine post-colonial attempts to establish a modern identity for Ireland. Thus, the application of censorship laws in Ireland can be seen as a move to free Irish self-identity from the negative portrayals of the Irish so prevalent in the colonial period.

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The End of Arrogance, the Advent of Persuasion

Public Art in a Multicultural Society

Henri Beunders

In Western societies, the boundaries of the freedom of expression had traditionally been expanding, while the boundaries of religion and 'good morals' had been receding. Since the last decade however, this expansion has slowed down, come to a halt, and ultimately reversed. In Europe, anxiety over the expression of protest through violent means has steadily caused governments to abandon the traditional, seemingly limitless adherence to freedom of expression. Political fear over controversy has come to dominate the climate of commissioning public art. In a polarized world, the debate on what is tolerable has taken on an acute urgency. The art world itself no longer has an answer. After a half-century of autonomy, it has succeeded in demolishing its own authority by ridiculing every aspect of external criticism. The only solution now will be a new form of dialogue with all stakeholders involved.

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Jean (Plantu) Plantureux

The publication of some caricatures of the prophet Mohammed by the Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper, and their distribution around the globe provoked a tremendous outcry and debate, which even led to physical destruction and death. This raises fundamental questions about the nature of blasphemy, (self-)censorship and the freedom of expression, the responsibility of cartoonists, trans-cultural communication, and the power of caricature. The author, who played a direct role in the French part of this affair, reflects on the questions it raises and on his own practice of editorial cartooning.

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Love Is Culture

Al-Hubb Thaqafa and the New Frontiers of Sexual Expression in Arabic Social Media

Shereen El Feki, Elise Aghazarian and Abir Sarras

Al-Hubb Thaqafa ('Love is Culture') is a new Arabic social media platform, providing accurate and unbiased information on love, relationships and sexuality. Its website, Facebook page, Twitter feed and YouTube channel offer visitors unprecedented opportunities for interaction, exchanging ideas and opinions not only with experts affiliated with Al-Hubb Thaqafa, but also with fellow users; for all the high hopes of greater freedom of expression in the wake of the 2011 uprisings, such opportunities remain rare, in both politics and personal life, in most countries of the Arab region. Although its content, and language, were initially designed for an Egyptian audience, Al-Hubb Thaqafa has attracted Arabic-speaking visitors from around the world; its combined platforms have been visited more than nine million times since its launch in March 2014.

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Djénéba Traoré

*Full article is in French

English abstract:

This article gives an overview of the organization and execution of the 4th World Forum for Local Economic Development in Praia (Republic of Cabo Verde) from 17 to 20 October 2017. During the Forum, relevant refl ections were made on themes pertaining to local economic development. The freedom of expression during the exchanges allowed participants to express ideas and beliefs without restrictions. The aim of the SDGs is to measure the importance and scope of the objectives that have been developed by a Working Group of representatives of 70 countries at the collective and individual levels. The Forum looked into the issue of sustainable development and proposed ways to operationalize these objectives. What will remain of the engagements taken in Praia? This remains to be seen.

Spanish abstract:

Este artículo intenta dar una visión general de los principales momentos de la organización y el desarrollo del Cuarto Foro Mundial sobre Desarrollo Económico Local (4FMDEL) celebrado en la ciudad de Praia (República de Cabo Verde), del 17 al 20 de octubre de 2017. Durante estas reuniones memorables, el Comité Científi co del Foro realizó refl exiones relevantes sobre los temas previamente identifi cados sobre el desarrollo económico local. Además, la libertad de expresión que prevaleció durante los intercambios permitió a todos los participantes expresar sus ideas y creencias sin ninguna restricción. 4FMDEL examinó la cuestión del desarrollo sostenible y propuso nuevas estratégias para lograr los objetivos. La autora se pregunta ¿Qué quedará de los compromisos hechos en Praia?

French abstract:

Cet article tente de donner un aperçu des principaux moments de l’organisation et du déroulement du quatrième Forum mondial sur le développement économique local (4èFMDEL) qui s’est tenu dans la ville de Praia (République de Cabo Verde), du 17 au 20 octobre 2017. Durant ces mémorables assises, des réfl exions extrêmement pertinentes ont été menées sur les thèmes préalablement identifi és sur le développement économique local par le Comité scientifi que du Forum. En outre, la liberté d’expression qui a prévalu durant les échanges, a permis à tous les participants d’exprimer leurs idées et leurs convictions sans aucune restriction. Le 4èFMDEL s’est penché sur la problématique du développement durable et a proposé des pistes visant la concrétisation des objectifs. Que restera-t-il des engagements pris à Praia ? La question reste posée.