Tennenbaum Affair / Exchange deal will make future swaps more expensive
For two and half years since his return from captivity, Elhanan Tennenbaum was silent. He wasn't silent because he was ashamed, but because he felt spurned by Israeli society. He considered writing a book to generate income that would help pay his debts, but discovered that there were no takers.
This week he found a buyer. Channel 10 let him launch his journey to public legitimacy, camouflaged as "investigative journalism," backup for the documentary it bought from Lebanese network LBC.
But neither the documentary nor the interview with Tennenbaum contained any new revelations. Except for the short film of Ron Arad's interrogation by his captors, there was no real news.
The Lebanese film was not a real investigation, more like a Hezbollah broadcast. Many details were missing regarding the circumstances of Tennenbaum's kidnapping.
The interview was supposed to prepare the Israeli public and the families of two kidnapped IDF soldiers held in Lebanon for what the pair is enduring.
Captivity is "horrific," Tennenbaum said, "detached from the world," "handcuffed," "threats," "three meals," "neon lights day and night," "I was moved from place to place a number of times." But he didn't have to come to the studio for that. Everyone knows Hezbollah jail is no fun.
It would have been more interesting to hear why Tennenbaum was hanging out with Kais Obaid who organized the kidnapping - a criminal, scion of a Taibe drug-running family. Why did he invoke his right to silence under interrogation and demand immunity from prosecution?
It is impossible to forget that Tennenbaum was a con artist, embroiled in fraud, and his deeds entangled Israel in one of the most humiliating and scandalous prisoner swaps in its history. A deal that will force Israel to pay a heavy price for the release of Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev for whom and for whose families the superfluous interview was theoretically aired.
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