A group that believes that it would be better if only "good" speech was allowed is the Israeli left.  When people criticized the policies of the labor government during the regime of Shimon Peres they faced the risk of being tried for incitement.  The accusation of incitement has become a tool for silencing the opposition in Israel. 

    Is that so bad?  Shimon Peres's platform was the platform of peace.  He advocated making concessions of land for peace with the Arabs.   Certainly peace is more important than land.  Shouldn't those who might persuade the public otherwise be silenced? 

    It seems obvious that the government of Shimon Peres was doing what was best for the region until one considers the arguments of the opposition.  One of the arguments of those who disagreed with the government of Shimon Peres was that the land given awake has become part of a terrorist base for attacks against Israel.  Another argument was that the increased strategic advantage the land gave the Arabs made a peace less likely.  These arguments would never be heard if the opposition was silenced. 

    What if there is corruption within a government such as that which was led by Shimon Peres, but overall it's policies are better for the country than those of the opposition.  Wouldn't it be better to silence the critics of the government than to allow them to overthrow it?.

    How do we silence those critics?  Do we arrest them?  That might only silence a few.  We might need more severe measures such as torture.  In fact administrative detention and severe beatings of settlers did occur during the Peres regime.  An excellent article by Steve Plaut about suppression of free speech in Israel, The Assault on Israeli Democracy, was published in Outpost.

    Clearly suppression of free speech is very dangerous.   It is a policy that many dictatorial regimes follow.  From their point of view they may believe that they are supporting "good" speech and suppressing "bad" speech and their suppression of the opposition is good for the country. 

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