It is indeed a strange story on the one hand and a very strange story on the other, as strange as a story taken from our real lives can get. A few days ago, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced at a session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that he had reliable information on efforts to stymie direct negotiations with the Palestinians.
The prime minister was ready, so he said, to provide the sensational details to the Knesset subcommittee on intelligence and secret services, which has a more limited membership and knows how to keep secrets. He didn't want members of the subcommittee to leak what he would be leaking to them.
It's hard to assume, unreasonable to assume actually, that Netanyahu intended to rely solely on that same anonymous source interviewed on Israel Radio, his voice scrambled, for his evidence. The same source who somehow happened upon the meeting between Kadima's Haim Ramon and Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat at the American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem, and just happened to sit at a nearby table and just happened to eavesdrop on the two while they were having a confidential conversation in public, and who maybe even recorded it.
Does the prime minister just happen to know this individual, whose duty as a citizen motivated him to call Israel Radio and claim that Ramon was trying to scuttle direct talks with the Palestinians?
Stranger still, this isn't the first time Netanyahu has hinted at possible sabotage from within and a recording to prove it. Just a few months ago, he commented for the first time publicly on those same subversive elements poisoning the wells of trust, collaborating with the enemy and deliberately delaying the salvation of direct talks.
Then, too, he expressed readiness to reveal the evidence in an appropriate forum and then, too, Ramon was implicated.
Does Netanyahu have a witness who just happened to hear such things on the previous occasion as well, and who happened to eavesdrop on another one of Ramon's conversations? If someone actually heard what has been attributed to Ramon in conversation with Erekat, let him come forward and be identified.
Then we will be able to judge him and his evidence. That is the only way to prove whether or not he is not doing someone else's dirty work, or doing it for someone such as himself.
The fact that the indefatigable Ramon is a brat with a hand in everything does not justify following him or eavesdropping on his conversations. We naively thought the 1950s were a bygone era, not to return.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now