Throughout the coverage I’ve written and read about the Anat Kam affair, I’ve heard a number of sources say they understood that the entire investigation was much bigger than just Anat Kam; that it involved, and was designed to protect, someone important. I never heard anything more specific than that, but the notion was very provocative.
One of the first Israelis to blog about this case just wrote me tonight with some fascinating ideas about it. Some of this is a little inside Israeli baseball, so I hope you’ll forgive me in advance for that. My source spent some time thinking about the investigation’s original code name, “Double-Take” (Akifa K’fula in Hebrew):
[Israeli] police officers enjoy word-play [involving] initials of suspects. Aqifah K‘fulah can be a poor play on the initials of Anat Kam (using the Kaf instead of the Quf, but note that akifah begins with her initials, pointing to the fact that someone [in the police] was looking for this connection).
One final issue is the term aqifah. Undermining the authority of your superiors in the army is usually referred to as aqifat samchut (especially in reference to someone who goes to someone higher[[ranked] than their immediate supervisor). Which in a way, is what Kam did – taking her concerns to the press instead of her immediate officer, Gen. Yair Naveh. You have coined this story as the Kam-Blau affair, and I saw that Tal Yaron started referring to it as the Kam-Naveh affair. The name of the operation might point that the security authorities were also more concerned with Naveh’s fate and future rather than Blau’s.
Even if my source is wrong in his last speculation, which I think he may not be, I think he’s gotten to the underlying importance of this entire episode. Anat Kam’s fate, while important to her and her family, is secondary. While Uri Blau’s fate is more important, it isn’t even the most important issue. The real issue that we mustn’t lose sight of is that Anat Kam’s boss, General Naveh, the IDF commander for the West Bank, approved targeted killings of Palestinians in contravention of a Supreme Court ruling. Not only that, but he then lied about the nature of the killings in order to cover-up his original act.
If this were the army of any other democratic country, he’d be ripe for court martial. Further, his memos show that even the chief of staff, Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi was in the loop. In other words, Israel’s highest general was complicit in a grave breech of Israel’s rule of law.
We must turn the battleship that this case has become on a dime and get the world, as much as we can, to focus on the evil done by the powerful in this case and the ways in which they’ve tried to cover their tracks.
Someone might argue with this theory and say that if the IDF truly wanted to let the matter die, it would’ve dropped any proceeding against Kam or Blau and hoped the entire thing faded from public consciousness. However, we know that Kam provided Blau with more documents than the two published in his original report. Given that Kam worked for Naveh, we can only presume that she provided other damaging documents with his fingerprints, and initials, all over them. If so, then gagging Kam and pursuing Blau might’ve seemed a reasonable strategy for Naveh and those protecting him. That strategy has now blown up in their faces given that the gag order has become a laughingstock and will be removed in a few hours.
But the underlying questions are: will they throw the book at Anat Kam and turn her into another Jonathan Pollard? How do we get Uri Blau home safe and sound and unprosecuted? And how do we get the Israeli Supreme Court to do its job and hold the top brass accountable for the rotten behavior?
The question you ask at the end of your article makes an entirely inappropriate analogy:
“Will they throw the book at Anat Kam and turn her into another Jonathan Pollard?” you write.
Jonathan Pollard!?! Come on, he’s a hero as far as establishment Israel is concerned! Mordechai Vanunu is the “subversive” parallel you should be equating Anat with.
Richard Silverstein says
I was viewing Pollard as he’s seen by most Americans, not Israelis. He’s seen by many here as a very bad & dangerous fellow who breeched our national security. Not viewed that way by Jewish leaders of course.
” And how do we get the Israeli Supreme Court to do its job and hold the top brass accountable for the rotten behavior?”
We can’t do it. It’s up to Israeli’s. You ( we) can only try shame them.
Israeli’s, if they want a democracy with accountability have to wake up from their slumber. And we here in the US have our own work to do regarding accountability.