In the closing act of a travesty foisted upon Israel by its military-intelligence apparatus and tacitly supported by a quiescent media, Anat Kamm accepted a plea deal that will force her to spend four and one half years in prison for passing secret IDF documents to Haaretz journalist, Uri Blau. Now, Kamm becomes the Israeli version of Bradley Manning and Shamai Leibowitz, both of whom (Manning is imprisoned but not yet tried or convicted) were sentenced to jail sentences for obeying their conscience and revealing secrets that implicated their governments (or Israel in Leibowitz’s case) in acts that violated the law and drew the nation closer to war.
Long ago, an Israeli journalist pointed out that IDF generals and cabinet ministers all leak top-secret information to journalists. It’s called doing their job. They’re not imprisoned. Often they’re promoted as a result. As long as you leak in service to your commander and prime minister, no matter what the garbage you leak, you are in like Flynn. But obey your conscience and cross the political/military elite, and you’ll be destroyed.
A journalist once pointed out that an IDF soldier of similar rank to Kamm once leaked secret documents to a reporter and received a sentence of a few days confinement to base from her commander.
The Israeli far right has demonized Anat Kamm. They’ve vandalized her home where she served two years under house arrest. They’ve painted graffiti on it calling her “traitor.”
In some ways, the State only had to wait out Kamm. It knew that she could only withstand house arrest so long before having to make a deal. She felt she got the best deal she could and realized that as far as the Israeli state is concerned this might be China, and she could be under house arrest for the remainder of her days.
This is sad day, a day of disgrace for Israel. A day in which military malfeasance was endorsed (Kamm’s materials revealed that IDF general Yair Naveh ordered unarmed Palestinian militants to be assassinated in contravention of Supreme Court rulings–rulings the Court of course has refused to enforce in this case out of deference to the IDF supreme role in society). A day in which a woman who should be a national heroine was made to grovel in the dirt.
This article appeared at Tikun Olam