Internal Security violated agreement with Haaretz to get to Anat Kamm

Posted: July 22nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: In the News | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off
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Anat Kamm in court (photo: Oren Ziv/activestills)

The prosecution in Anat Kamm’s trail admitted today that the Shabak (Israel’s internal security service, formally known as Shin Beit), ignored the agreement it signed with Haaretz reporter Uri Blau in order to expose the source for a story he published.

In a research article published two years ago in Haaretz, Blau reveled that senior Israeli generals, including chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi, knowingly violated Supreme Court rulings by ordering the assassination of Palestinians militants even when they didn’t pose an immediate threat or when it was possible to capture them alive.

After the story was published, the army began an internal investigation to locate the source responsible for leaking the operative orders cited by Blau in Haaretz. At the same time, the Shabak demanded Haaretz to return the documents in order to avoid a national security breach. Haaretz and Blau agreed, on the condition that the documents will be used only for damage control, and not to locate the source for the story.

According to a reports on Israeli media (Hebrew) the state admitted today that the Shabak did use the documents to get to Kamm.

Kamm, then a soldier at the central command HQ and later a reporter for the Israeli portal walla.co.il, was arrested, and Israeli media was prevented from reporting the story. Only after details of her arrest were published abroad, the gag order was lifted.

Kamm is charged with espionage, and could face up to 20 years in prison. Uri Blau is in London, fearing that his return would lead to his arrest and prosecution.


Yedioth challenges Israeli censorship, publishes Judith Miller’s article blacked out

Posted: April 6th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

This is how page 9 of Israel’s most popular tabloid, Yedioth Ahronoth, looked like today.

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The item shown is a translation of Judith Millers’ account of the Anat Kamm affair in The Daily Beast (downloadable PDF version here). The blacked out parts make the Hebrew text meaningless, thus forcing readers ask themselves what is it exactly that they don’t know.

[The answer: that the state is trying to secretly punish the source of a front page story in Haaretz, which reveled that senior IDF generals, including Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, knowingly violated Supreme Court ruling by ordering the assassinations of Palestinians who could have been captured alive.]

Tel Aviv court is about to rule next week on a request by Haaretz and Channel 10 to lift the gag order on the affair, which also caused Haaretz’s correspondent Uri Blau to flee to London.

By publishing the blacked text, Israel’s leading tabloid is signaling the court that if the gag order isn’t lifted, the paper might publish more details, and force security authorities as well as the court to decide whether they want to go head to head with the media. My guess is that the court will give up, and the gag order will be lifted.

Talk radio host Nathan Zehavi revealed details of the affair on his show today.

In 1984 the tabloid Hadashot (published by Haaretz’s owner, Amos Shoken) was shut down for three days after publishing a picture which proved that two terrorists were killed cold-bloodedly by Shin Beit after being captured alive. The affair ended in the resignation of the head of Shin Beit. But these were different times.


Haaretz’s reporter flees to London after revealing illigal IDF tergeted killings

Posted: April 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: In the News, media, war | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment »

This is from the UK’s Independent:

An Israeli journalist is in hiding in Britain, The Independent can reveal, over fears that he may face charges in the Jewish state in connection with his investigation into the killing of a Palestinian in the West Bank.

Uri Blau, a reporter at Israel’s liberal newspaper, Haaretz, left town three months ago for Asia and is now in London. Haaretz is understood to be negotiating the terms of his return to Israel with prosecutors, according to an Israeli source, who declined to be identified, because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The news of Mr Blau’s extended absence comes just days after it emerged that another Israeli journalist, Anat Kam, has been held under house arrest for the last three months on charges that she leaked classified documents to the press while completing her military service.

More details here. I hope I will be able to write more on this story in two weeks.