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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Israel's Censorship

Judith Miller has done great reporting on this.

You've probably never heard of Anat Kamm. Few people have. But for nearly four months, the 23-year-old Israeli journalist has been under house arrest in Tel Aviv for allegedly stealing and leaking secret Israeli defense ministry documents to a journalist from Ha'aretz, one of Israel's leading dailies.

Kamm would love to tell her side of the story, her friends and associates tell me. So would her lawyers. So, too, would Dov Alfon, the chief editor of Ha'aretz, a liberal paper, and Uri Blau, the reporter to whom Kamm allegedly leaked the documents she was said to have copied while she was completing her military service.

But they cannot talk or write about the espionage case. In an extremely rare action, an Israeli court has ordered the Israeli media not to publish or broadcast a word about Kamm, the allegations against her, or the investigation that has led Blau, the Ha'aretz reporter involved, to flee to London. For almost four months, Blau has been in self-imposed exile there to avoid answering questions about how and from whom he obtained the confidential defense department documents that are said to have resulted in a spate of stories alleging personal and institutional misconduct on the part of the Israeli Defense Forces, the hallowed IDF, and some of its senior officials.

In a nation that prides itself on its vibrant discourse and a free press, this is stunning, depressing news.

There are parts of this story that we still don't know however the Israeli government's insistence that many parts of this story not be told and enforcing a gag order to do it are troubling to say the least.

1 comment:

AG said...

Sounds like Mordechai Vanunu all over again.