[Freemanlist2] Michael Freund -Awakening the Left
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The Jerusalem Post, April 15, 2010
Awakening the Left
By Michael Freund
The Anat Kam affair has sent shockwaves throughout Israel's military and political establishment.
Allegations that the young reporter stole reams of sensitive IDF documents and passed them along to Ha'aretz reporter Uri Blau raise serious questions about basic subjects such as security procedures and information controls in the army.
Sweeping changes will need to be implemented to ensure that such an outflow of documents does not recur, and one assumes that the military brass has already taken steps to plug the leaks in an obviously creaky system.
But of all the secrets that Kam may have revealed about operational and intelligence matters, few are likely to be as explosive as the real bombshell that she has unwittingly uncovered.
For through her actions, Kam has cast the spotlight on a critical question that does not get nearly as much attention as it deserves: why does the Israeli Left seem to produce so much treachery against the state?
Indeed, the sad fact is that if the charges against Kam are true, she is but the latest in a long line of ideologically-driven left-wingers who have betrayed the country and its secrets.
Remember Mordechai Vanunu, the former nuclear technician who disclosed details of Israel's atomic-energy program to the Times of London in October 1986?
Or how about Marcus Klingberg, one of Israel's top military scientists, who passed data to the Soviets out of ideological conviction before his arrest in 1983?
And then there is Tali Fahima, who was convicted in 2005 for her contact with Zakaria Zubeidi, a Palestinian terrorist from Jenin who headed the local branch of Fatah's Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
There are plenty of other such examples, which only leads one to wonder why some on the Left seem to have no compunction about committing duplicitous acts which cause harm to the state.
Obviously, it would be unfair and wrong to tar the entire Left with the brush of disloyalty. But the lifting of the gag order on the Kam affair should prompt some serious introspection on the other side of the political spectrum.
The fact is that leftists need to take a long, hard look at themselves and their ideology. Based on some of what has emerged from their ranks over the past few decades, it is clear that something has gone very, very wrong.
Of course, such an accounting is unlikely to occur, as various leading left-wing commentators have already rushed to Kam's defense. They are trying to paint her as a whistle-blower, portraying the young journalist as an Israeli Erin Brockovich motivated by the highest ideals to pursue truth and justice, rather than a Benedict Arnold who violated the trust that was placed in her.
For example, former Meretz chairman Yossi Sarid, writing in Ha'aretz on Sunday, sought to defend Kam's actions by suggesting that plenty of politicians have leaked documents over the years.
That may be true, but it is beside the point. Just because a lot of people engage in an illegal act does not in any way make it lawful or honorable, and Sarid should know better than to suggest otherwise.
And then there is the irrepressible Gideon Levy, who went so far as to praise Kam and Blau for their actions. "These two youngsters," he wrote, "each in his own way, wanted to contribute to the state. They saw evils and would not keep silent. This should be described and portrayed as patriotism and love of one's country - certainly more than sending soldiers to eliminate fugitives in cold blood."
Just how exactly Kam "saw evil" when she purportedly made copies of documents outlining the deployment and order of battle of IDF forces is hard to fathom. If anything, the reckless disclosure of such information could have endangered the lives of soldiers in the field had it gotten into the wrong hands.
That isn't patriotism – it is subversion, pure and simple.
Needless to say, when a handful of soldiers recently raised a banner at a military ceremony saying they would refuse to evacuate Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, the Left went into a frenzy, blasting the Right over the need to "follow orders" and "maintain discipline" in the army.
Oddly enough, however, those principles seem to fall by the wayside when it comes to the case of Anat Kam, whose actions are inexplicably trumpeted as those of a hero.
Perhaps, as Kam goes to trial, the Left will finally take pause and stop to think. Maybe, just maybe, they will look at the young, naive ideologue and finally see the hazards which their ideology has produced.
In this respect, the Kam affair is a wake-up call, and the alarm bells are ringing.
The only question now is whether the Left will heed the buzzer and finally awaken.
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