Great analysis from Evelyn Gordon at Commentary.
This is an instructive piece to read because it's a universal leftist thing to try to shut down debate and silence critics. This is not just an Israeli thing, but I have to say, Israeli lefties are particularly morose and vicious.
"The first attempt to shutter the paper was an unsubtle bill making it
illegal for non-Israelis to own Israeli newspapers–a restriction chosen
because it applied to one paper only. Its hypocrisy was underscored by
the fact that the left evinced no objection whatsoever when another
American tycoon rescued the left-wing Channel 10 television by becoming
its majority shareholder."
"The current bill, which aims to destroy Israel Hayom’s
business model, is equally unsubtle. It would outlaw freebie papers–but
only if they’re successful. Freebies that don’t compete with the
mainstream media are fine, but any freebie that becomes one of the four
highest-circulation papers would have to start charging at least 70
percent of what the cheapest of the other three charges. Needless to
say, only one Israeli freebie makes the top four."
"To be clear, the bill won’t become law. Like other undemocratic bills
proposed by irresponsible Knesset members in recent years, it will be
quietly killed in committee by wiser heads after having gotten its
sponsors the media attention they craved.
"But nobody on the
“anti-democratic” right has ever tried to pass legislation shutting down
left-wing papers like Haaretz or Yedioth Ahronoth; only on the “democratic” left is silencing newspapers you don’t like considered acceptable behavior."