Yaki Hafstein wonders whether we’d see different reactions had spy suspect Kam been a rightist
Yaki Hafestein Published: 04.10.10, 15:02 / Israel Opinion
Based on the details revealed regarding the secret affair that faced a gag order up until recently, it appears that while serving in the army, Anat Kam stole classified IDF documents and handed them over, based on motives that contradict the State’s national security interest, to Haaretz Journalist Uri Blau for publication.
Now, imagine the following scenario: An IDF General Staff meeting, a moment before the evacuation of Gush Katif. Attendants are going over the last details – the number of forces deployed, the evacuation plan, how to surprise the evacuees, etc. Now, imagine that a fictional religious soldier who resides in Jerusalem and had been associated with rightist groups since his youth, S. Plotskerovich, the head of the Southern Command chief’s bureau, leaks the information to a reporter at a rightist newspaper.
How can you we trust any religious soldiers?” our leading radio hosts would be asking the IDF’s chief rabbi on their primetime shows. “I’m very concerned,” another radio personality would add in a motherly voice, urging all religious soldiers for the 350th time to engage in a process of self-reflection.
Even without such case actually taking place, one need not make a great effort to imagine the reprimands, warnings, and disapproval of our leading journalists and reporters.
Friendly slap on the back
As I live in Tel Aviv and often hang out at sites known as leftist strongholds, I was happy to encounter people of action and ideological activists who work on behalf of truly noble values, such as human rights; although in my view they sometimes do it too naively. Only recently we heard of journalist Yotam Feldman, who for the purpose of an investigative report bravely joined a group of Sudanese in the Sinai desert to see from up close what they go through en route to the Promised Land and tell us about it.
I don’t know too many people who would switch places with him, yet after in the wake of acts – where the people perpetrating them risk themselves and at time others too – they indeed are slapped with a little reprimand, but also get wink and some friendly slap on the back in appreciation of their dedication to the mission and the ideological values they acted on behalf of.
Yet for some reason, the religious soldiers from the Har Bracha yeshiva who held up their protest signs against potential evacuations – whose actions I object to just like I object to actions on the other end of the political spectrum – did not get a wink and a friendly slap on the back, but rather, were given the great honor of being identified as the greatest danger to our fragile democracy.
Will it change this time around? I doubt it. It’s hard for me to imagine leading newsmen initiating a discussion on whether we should fear the enlistment of members of leftist youth groups to the army (we shouldn’t.) Yet I’m quite certain that the question of the loyalty of national-religious soldiers - who are all rightists and affected by their rabbis, of course - will continue to be raised every time someone belonging to that political camp makes headlines.
Anat Kam -
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