Anat Kamm-Uri Blau Case Enters Decisive New Phase
The foreign media continue to open up the Anat Kam-Uri Blau case with new stories in The Guardian, The Times, and The National. They largely don’t plow new ground, but the Guardian story does carry this strongly supportive statement by Haaretz’s editor, Dov Alfon (a new Twitter follower of mine!):
Uri Blau is in London. He will be there until his editors decide otherwise. We are ready to continue to keep him in London as long as needed. Uri Blau published a lot of articles in Haaretz. All of them are dynamite stuff and it is clear of course that the authorities are not satisfied with these kind of revelations in a major newspaper.”We understand this but we also understand that Israel is still a democracy and therefore we intend to continue to publish whatever public interest demands and our reporters can reveal.”
Haaretz’s lawyers are negotiating with Israeli authorities for his return from self-imposed exile. The above statement is almost a message of defiance of those authorities telling them that Blau won’t return until his innocence is guaranteed.
I’ve learned from an Israeli source some strange, but not entirely surprising news. There is a reason why the floodgates of the foreign press are opening to this story but they remain closed in the Hebrew language press. The Shin Bet doesn’t really care what we write about this story. What they really worry about is their own citizens, what they’ll learn about it, and what they’ll say about it when they do. That is why no Israeli newspaper or media outlet has had the balls to break the gag.
I’ve written before here that in the past such foreign media articles would virtually guarantee domestic coverage within Israel. Not with this story. Which means we have an intelligence and military apparatus which keeps its citizens in the dark about an urgent matter of national security, Israeli democracy, and the rule of law. They don’t trust the population to know about the facts and then make up their own minds. They fear the public. They fear the force of vox populi. As Aipac’s Steve Rosen once so memorably said about lobbying groups, they thrive in the dark and die in the light.
Those of us who thought we believed in Israeli democracy, or at least wanted to believe in the concept, should be ashamed.
The National account offers this powerful quotation articulating clearly what’s at stake for Israel:
Orly Halpern, a freelance journalist and Middle East analyst based in Jerusalem, agreed. “I am very worried that Israel would arrest a journalist – or anyone for that matter – and prevent people from knowing about it. These are the actions of an oppressive regime, not a democracy,”Mr Halpern said.
“Israel should have some kind of a protection for whistle-blowers,” another Israeli journalist said. “Even if they go against the state or the system, what [Ms Kam allegedly exposed] was the army breaking the law.”
The journalist, who asked to remain anonymous, said the blackout was one of the most worrisome aspects of the case.
For the reasons I wrote above, Anat Kam has intensely resisted publication of any details of her case even in blogs. Her side apparently cares much less what we write about her in English language blogs. Or she may care, but realizes it won’t harm her fate as Hebrew language reporting might. She’s apparently relying on statements from the prosecution that her silence might allow them to remove counts from her charge sheet or even eliminate jail time altogether. Frankly, (and I concede I’m neither Israeli nor the victim in this case) I don’t see why any defendant should trust an unwritten statement proffered by Israeli prosecutors. At any rate, she should know in the next few days what prosecutors will offer her. If she doesn’t receive the deal she’s looking for and decides to fight, she will have my full support.
The same source also tells me that the State has not asked for her cooperation in the case of Uri Blau. If this is true, it is welcome news. I suspected that the reason she felt she might be able to avoid jail time was because of a deal whereby she would testify against him.
I have also received lots of supportive message from fellow bloggers and journalists who understand and appreciate what I’ve tried to do. I just had a heart-felt message from Mya Guarnieri, who wrote The National story linked above. George Hale of Maan has also been intrepid. An Israeli journalist in the belly of the beast who shall go nameless also served an important role in getting word out. The people who matter know what this blog has done. As for the others, well…I’ll let you fill in that ellipsis.
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10 thoughts on “Anat Kamm-Uri Blau Case Enters Decisive New Phase – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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I THINK THAT YOU ARE MISSING THE MAIN POINT. OR PERHAPS YOU WANT TO MISS IT. THE CORE QUESTION IS THIS- DO WE HAVE A RULE OF LAW IN ISRAEL. OR NOT. THE ANSWER IS YES. WE DO. BALLSY JOURNALISM AND LEFT OR RIGHT STILL CONFORM TO IT. IT IS PART OF OUR DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM. YES I CAN HEAR THE SPITE IN YOUR BLOG TO THIS CLAIM. BUT WE ARE. NO LESS THAN THE GOOD OL USA. AND OUR PRESS CORE DOES HAVE ALL THE FREDOM YOU HAVE- WITH OR WITHOUT A CONSTITUTION.
QUESTION- IS THERE A JUDICIAL SUPERVISION OVER THIS CASE. ANSWER- YES. THERE IS. QUESTION- IS THE CASE CHALLENGED IN COURT. ANSWER- YES. IT WILL BE IN COURT IN THE COMING DAYS.
QUESTION- WHAT MAKES THE MAJOR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM AND A DICTATORSHIP.
ANSWER- THE ABILITY TO DEFEND AN ACT IN COURT.
SO……YES….THIS CASE DOES CALLS FOR ANSWERS. BUT ANOTHER GOLDSTONIAN EFFORT TO USE IT AS A PROOF THAT ALL IS BLACK IN JERUSALEM…MMM…NO…HOLD YOUR HORSES. THERE ARE TIMES WHEN WE NEED TO EXAMINE ISSUES BEYOND THE LABLES OF LEFT RIGHT PEACE CAMP OR AIPAC CAMP. THIS IS ONE SUCH TIME. HAPPY FREEDOM PASSOVER TO YOU TOO.
Ah, another right winger arguing that Kam’s violation of IDF secrecy was a more disturbing criminal violation than the fact that IDF generals were flaunting a ruling of the highest Israeli court. Do you even understand the concept of the rule of law??
Is that why Uri Blau is in hiding in London?? And why Anat Kam was secretly arrested & detained & no one in Israel can report about it? Is that what you call press freedom?
The real question is whether you have a pliant, obeisant judiciary that tends to bend over & kiss the ring of the military & intelligence services in national security cases. The answer is YES.
The simple legal fact is there is no rule of law in Israel.
The limits of what the executive can do are defined in “emergency regulations” passed by the British Mandate authority during the 1936 Arab rebellion, adopted by the state of Israel in 1948 and renewed ever since. The purpose of emergency regulations is to suspend the rule of law. So Israel does not have and never had a rule of law. It is ruled by executive fiat, embodied by security agencies, the IDF, Shabak, and Mossad, operating outisde the law in principle and in practice. The fact that the Supreme Court has “ratified” this order does not mean that the Supreme Court has supreme control. It means the judges know their place. Israel is BTW the longest regime ever to exist in this state of exception. Silver medal goes to the Egyptian state and Bronze Medal goes to the Third Reich.
Second, within the OPT, which is ruled by Israel, the military commander combines the executive, legislative and judicial functions of government. Unless the law is separated from the executive one cannot speak of the rule of law.
Third, the rule of law is not holy. US Slavery was legally sanctioned and defended by the forth amendment.
check your facts. we at this moment have an ex prime minister on trial and an ex president on trial.
not quite an egyptian situation….
Those are important pts. I think what you say is a little too pat. But not far off reality. The Supreme Court as you say is certainly NOT supreme in any sense.
Zowi! Nice reply!
I very much enjoy Mya Guarnieri’s articles. She understands the concepts of justice and humanity and I’m not surprised she’s supporting you in this effort.
I’m glad to see everyone is starting to pick this story up and you have gotten ‘some’ due credit for breaking it.
Too much attention focused on it is not enough in this case. I imagine Israeli authorities would just love to make this case go away. They’re in a pickle that’s for sure.
You write some pretty terrific stuff by the way.
Thanks so, so much! Really.
Richard: you are a hero. True journalism. Not like the weasels at the Guardian
just another right winger….mmm…!@#$%^& it must be the freedom in the upper west north coast air that allows you to label people you do not know or to attrribute to them things they never thought or wrote.
here in the old world – jerusalem- we still read and think before we react. can it be that you hate all that is Israeli unless it is on the far left?
or perhaps you simply enjoy a debate with those who agree with you – all the way.
the irony is ofcourse in the name. tikun olam. it was the first and last time i visited your blog. tikun olam in my mind is respect for your fellow men – may they be left right or middle.
mmm one more thing about journalism and msm. at the end of the day – those journalists -even if they do not mention the fact that you uncovered first – they do have a code of ethics. it is in the profession. if you love it- you have it.
some bloggers – do not.
No, it can’t. And once again even writing this is a violation of comment rules. If you want to characterize my real views don’t construe them on yr own terms but on my terms. I do not hate Israel & if even come close to saying it again it’ll be the last time you do so here.
You must mean the “respect” you showed for my views in yr first comment which attacked them in case you forgot.
I’ve gotta laugh about yr claim that I have no ethics. Do you know what ethics are? No. Because you haven’t provided a single example of my lack of ethics. And if you think it’s ethical for a reporter to create an agreement w. someone then break it & never explain what happened, then you have an awfully twisted interpretation of what ethics are.