15 thoughts on “Israeli Intelligence: Welcome to Chelm – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. a small hebrew google search about the judge Yifat Shitrit didn’t bring any Information that was important. She is a new Judge (since 2009) in Nazareth and had mainly hearings about small criminal activities. Exactly the kind of judge who will except everything that the Shin Bet will tell her without having the courage to question it…

  2. How can we tell if the judge authorized the request before or after parts of it were blackened ? Isn’t it more reasonable to believe that a document with undisclosed details won’t be released as is ?

  3. Richard, in defense of the judge, she probably signed it when it was not blacked out and then, the police blacked it out and sent it to the media. So it is the police Chelm and not the judiciary…

  4. Not just Chelm. There is something more. The target population of the gag order is a group of Hebrew-speaking subjects of a republic in the Middle East, namely, the privileged ethnic group which is the electoral base of the ruling class members that are practicing democracy among themselves.
    No one really tries to hide the situation from the rest of the population, which in any case has no influence on the policies of Israel. In addition, the GSS (“Shin-Bet”) doesn’t really care about keeping it as a secret from the rest of the world, as long as it does not affect his freedom of action.

  5. I think she’s religious. She didn’t serve in the army but volunteered for “national service” instead, which is usually done by religious women.
    She also got her degree from Bar-Ilan University, which is basically a religious university.
    That’s not conclusive evidence, as many non-religious people do national service and study at Bar Ilan, but I’d say there’s a good chance.

    You can see her CV in Hebrew here:

    She’s been a judget since 2004, so she’s not so new. But indeed her main area is criminal law.

    I also found an interesting article about a light sentence which she gave to a criminal who was recorded threatening persecution personnel and judges. The persecution asked for a 2 year sentence, Judge Shitrit gave him 11 months with a third off for good behaviour.
    The journalist implies that her decision was influenced by threates and that the police are unable to protect judges. It doesn’t say it, it’s just implied.
    The date of the article is September 2009. 11 months minus a third would be about now.
    So for those fond on conspiration theory, there’s something to chew on here.
    Here’s the article from Globes in Hebrew:

  6. Fishy,
    It is a common custom in the Israeli legal system that the judge does not see ‘secret information’.
    There are a few brilliant tricks – Judges in Israel are approved by the g.S.S (Shabak). A judge may be appointed after being disapproved by g.S.S, but then he or she is barred from judging on ‘security cases’, as they dont get g.S.S clearance. Therefore, g.S.S is effectively choosing which judges will preside over their cases.
    Still, after making sure the judge is sympathetic to their cause and world view, they dont trust the judicial system enough to allow habeas corpus. In most ‘security’ cases, the g.S.S will present ‘secret evidence’ folder to the judge, but because of it’s ‘top secret’ classification, the defendant is never shown the evidence, nor his lawyer, and in many cases, neither does the judge. The judge is simply told by the g.S.S what is in the folder, and that is it.

    1. Based on what I’m reading in the gag order notations by the judge they don’t ever claim to have read or seen any evidence. In fact, I had a big argument here w. an Israel defender saying that the judges did see such evidence. But this fellow wasn’t Israeli & I trust yr knowledge on this more than his. If you’re right, it’s simply astonishing to me that a judge can make judgments w/o seeing evidence.

      1. There are cases, and they are not exceptional, in which the judges are pulled in the middle of the night from their bed to sign a gag order. Nobody really believes that there is room for in depth judicial discretion, In most of these cases they function more like security bureaucratic clerks than as judges.

    1. Totally diff. set of circumstances legally. In the Leibowitz case there was a plea bargain which both sides accepted. The sentence is relatively low for cases of this kind so the judge didn’t feel the need to see the information. Believe me, if he felt there was anything wrong with the sentence or that there was anything that made him uncomfortable about the case, he would’ve insisted on seeing evidence.

      In the Israeli case, the defendant vigorously disputes the gag order & the charges against him. If Leibowitz had done that, the judge would’ve seen the evidence.

  7. Re: stupid or smart, efficient or brutal, it’s probably a combination. They _gather_ “intelligence”, i.e., information, they don’t have to _be_ intelligent. Cunning in a way, but not necessarily able to see the big picture.

    Remember, the guy who empties the trash works in intelligence.

    1. Military intelligence is to intelligence as military music is to music (and as military justice is to justice).

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