Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Kam Case: Freedom of Expression or Freedom of Baloney?

The following is my translation of an editorial which appears in today’s Yisrael HaYom [link below] newspaper in Hebrew.

The Kam Case: Freedom of Expression or Freedom of Baloney?
by Uri Heitner, Yisrael HaYom

Immediately upon exposure of the Kam affair, it was clear that for certain groups in Israeli society, a new hero was born. I knew that Kam would be portrayed as a heroine: a knight of freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom for the struggle against the ‘corrupt occupation’ and so forth.

Indeed, since publication of the affair, we’ve read dozens of articles about an important journalist who sits in detention because she revealed the war crimes of Israel. The second journalist involved, Uri Blau, has informed us, without the least bit of modesty, that he did not struggle at all on his own behalf, rather but on behalf of Israel.

Articles of support maintain that the great sin of Kam amounts to the fact that she has a world-view that led her to reveal illegal acts of Israel. Or, alternatively, some argue that she just did her duty of conscience, and that the problematic factor here is the IDF, whose injustices she has exposed.

Well, even if we are a ‘baloney-ridden’ State, such a concentration of nonsense has not been seen here in a long time. Then there is nothing further from the issue of freedom of expression and freedom of the press than this case.

The "journalist" that was arrested, is rather an Internet website gossip columnist. There is no connection at all between her vocation and her arrest.

After all, she was not arrested for her work as a ‘journalist’, but for what she did as a soldier. As a soldier, she stole classified documents, kept them, and passed some on. This is the truth under the false code of "free press".

To understand the significance of the act, one should just remember the Jonathan Pollard affair.

Pollard copied several documents and passed them on to a party to which he not authorized. And although this was not a party hostile to the United States, and it is clear that Pollard did not want to harm US interests, he was convicted of espionage and betrayal and sentenced to life imprisonment. He’s been sitting in solitary confinement since, for 25 years already. And remember, that’s the US, the world democratic power. But when Israel wants to defend itself, it is immediately compared to Iran.

Kam stole thousands of secret documents, even top secret ones, from the Army [IDF] while taking advantage of the trust placed in her. Is it possible to exaggerate the severity of this crime?

Whether she did it for ideological reasons, wanting to harm State security, or for personal reasons, is an important but secondary question. The real question is whether there is a connection, even the slightest connection between this serious story and the freedom of the press. Indeed, with regard to the freedom of press, security officials have been strict with themselves to maintain it, in terms of Uri Blau and the documents in his hands.

Only after it became clear that he violated the agreement he signed and continues to hold, illegally, confidential documents (and so far, I have not heard from him a denial of this claim) – did he become a wanted person.

The public should not be captivated by the charlatans who blast the sirens of harm to the freedom of the press. This is an offense against security laws, and in a State of law, violation of the law requires that such offenses be prosecuted.


Keli Ata said...

Being a reporter gives one certain freedoms. You walk a fine line. It's a line that Kam crossed.

Is it little wonder that real reporters are attacked and killed each day? No wonder so many Muslims in the ME persecute journalists as spies.

I would hate to see her get a free ride on this while Jonathan Pollard languishes in prison for trying to help his country and didn't pretend to be a journalist.

Anonymous said...

"There's something awfu'wee scwewy going on around here!"
- Elmer Fudd

Netivotgirl said...

She is a traitor and should "do time" as they say!Why she is in house arrest and not in jail is beyond me!

It is ridiculous that such a great percentage of our land's finances and media are run by such a tiny percentage of our population!! And we are a "democracy????" I'm learning to hate that word!

Our worst enemies have always come from within; had we ever been truly united with Ahavat Yisrael, Moshiach would already be here!

Keli Ata said...

In the US treason has typically resulted in the person getting the death penalty.

Doubtful that would happen in Israel but it would be nice if they could send her to someplace like Gitmo and figure out what her story really is. I doubt she's acting in isolation.

Keli Ata said...

Shy--you are just too cute:)