Harrass the IDF, not alleged whistleblower Anat Kam
A security service that destroys journalists' computers has no place in a democratic state.
Are Israelis entitled to know that the IDF's highest ranking officers gave advanced written permission to fire at innocent people during "targeted assassinations?" Isn't the media's supreme duty, not only its right, to report this?
Are Israel's citizens entitled to know that IDF commanders approved killing people even when it was possible to apprehend them, in blatant violation of the High Court's ruling?
Aren't we entitled to know about a secret Defense Ministry report saying about 75 percent of settlements construction has been carried out without a permit? That public structures in more than 30 settlements were built on private Palestinian land?
These are but few of the goings on exposed by journalist Uri Blau and which the state wanted to conceal. Now the state wants to settle the score with both the source and the journalist. In fact it wants to do more than settle the score.
Shin Bet security service head Yuval Diskin yesterday openly threatened, in the most scandalous way, that his organization will "remove its gloves" in dealing with this affair. "We were too sensitive to the media world ... that's the lesson we've learned from the affair," he said.
The lesson to be learned from the affair should be the exact opposite. A security service that destroys journalists' computers and threatens them has no place in a democratic state. The defense establishment is not trying (only) to keep state secrets in this case, but to cover-up grievous acts committed in the territories. These deeds were committed in our name, therefore we must know everything about them.
The violent, bullying defense establishment, which smashes computers, wants to settle the score with those who knew and would not keep silent; with those who witnessed the acts and would not take part in the cover up.
The Shin Bet has won again. Instead of dealing with the outrageous acts that were exposed, finding those responsible and bringing them to trial, everyone is preoccupied with persecuting the messengers and hunting down the whistleblowers. This is going on with the support of the security service's numerous mouthpieces in the media.
Anat Kam probably overheard corrupt discussions and should have been treated like any other whistleblower - the state should have protected her. The same applies to the journalist who exposed corruption. The witch hunt that came out yesterday after weeks of gagging - which also has no place in a democracy - is moving in the wrong direction, as the Shin Bet intended.
The GOC Central Command, in whose office the assassination meetings took place, should be the one in the heart of the furor. Instead, it's the one who reported them.
As usual with us, the marginal takes precedence over the primary, covered with layers of fake security arguments. The Palestinians already know the IDF and Border Police shoot to kill them even when they can merely arrest them.
But the IDF and Shin Bet don't want us to know that. It has nothing to do with security. It has everything to do with the kind of regime we're living in.
Yesterday a new Bus 300 affair began. Bus 300 was hijacked by Palestinians in 1984. Two of the hijackers, who were first reported to have been killed when security forces took over the bus, were in fact executed while in captivity by Shin Bet agents.
Then too, when the media published what happened, violating the censorship laws, some people found fault with the media instead of with the Shin Bet killers.
Consequently, the Hadashot newspaper, which published a picture of one of the hijackers being taken off the bus alive, was penalized and the killers received, eventually, a sweeping pardon. Only in time did it come out that the media was only doing its duty, and it led to cleaning the Shin Bet stables from lies and despicable acts of manslaughter.
It should be hoped that this time the public also understands that illegal, villainous acts must not be covered up by smashing the mirror (and computer).