The Almagor Terror Victims Association has sent a letter of protest to the Israel Press Council against two of Israel's daily newspapers, Yediot Acharonot and Maariv. Almagor accuses them of abandoning their post as "watchdogs of democracy" and promoting the campaign for Gilad Shalit's release – with the ultimate goal of toppling the Netanyahu government.
Col. (ret.) Meir Indor, chairman of Almagor, told Arutz-7 that the letter was written by bereaved father Dr. Aryeh Bachrach and "an another advisor who was not exactly born in my political camp. The letter states:
"A well-orchestrated campaign, with many articles in both newspapers taking one position [in the debate regarding the price that should be paid for Shalit's release], is designed to sway public opinion towards the deal… It is a blow at the public's right to know; for one thing, we would like to know why the papers are both taking this position, and in addition, there is a heavy suspicion that the stories are being swayed to one side... How can a serious and democratic debate take place, when both papers choose and promote openly one side, with the clear danger that the opposing position is being silenced?"
Almagor's chairman noted that the editor of Maariv explained in one of his articles why his newspaper has taken this position, "and another article by one of the top writers in Yediot writes that the public has already decided, despite the dangers, that terrorists must be released in order to free Gilad Shalit... They say that it's not so terrible to release terrorists, because they can always be caught again. Who will pay the price until then: the writer of that article?! – or maybe people like Rabbi Avshalom Chai, who was murdered by a freed terrorist…"
"This is the first time in Israeli media history," Indor said, "that the media promotes and backs a public protest of this type."
"I'm not even sure that Gilad Shalit is their main concern," Indor said. "For one thing, there are those who have long wanted terrorist murderer Marwan Barghouti to be freed from jail, because they think Israel can negotiate with him and reach a peace agreement… This deal, which they hope will include Barghouti, will serve their purposes well."
"In addition," he continued, "their ultimate goal is actually to topple Netanyahu. So they say he is susceptible to pressure, and then they pressure him to give in to this deal – and then in the end, they will say he caved in to pressure!"