Gahli Lit, one of my new Israeli friends from the Anat Kamm case, has sent me a truly mysterious photo of Kamm which cries out for an explanation. It pictures Kamm standing in what the caption calls a “Tel Aviv courthouse” on December 29th after a court hearing.
A few truly strange facts about the timing of this photo. On December 29th, Kamm was either in prison or under house arrest. There was a gag order preventing publication of her identity, the reason for her arrest, or even the existence of a gag order altogether. The judge who approved the gag order was Einat Ron. If you examine the nameplate on the wall next to Kamm you’ll see that she’s standing outside Einat Ron’s courtroom (which is actually located in Petah Tikva).
What gives? This woman on that date was radioactive plutonium as far as the Israeli media is concerned. Yet a photographer working for European Pressphoto just happened to be standing by her and snapped this picture? It makes you wonder how the Israeli justice system conducts justice that’s supposed to be conducted in secret. It makes you wonder how the Shin Bet allows such a gagged citizen to be photographed during a hearing on a deeply sensitive case.
Dimi Reider just e mailed me to say that December 29th was the last date on which Kamm’s gag order was renewed. And that would be the purpose of the hearing.
One thing is for sure: the Israeli media have written that they’ve known about this case for a long time. This photo would indicate that either the photographer or the editor who sent him on assignment (or both) knew about the case. This only further illustrates the collusion between the press and the intelligence agencies. The press knows about the gag order, knows it can’t do anything with the picture, but takes it anyway for insurance if and when it can use it. What a country!
My Israeli friend Zvi Solow tells me that the Kamm-Blau case strikes him as much more Chelm than Le Carre. I still don’t know which is more apt.