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anat kamm

  • Fact-checking Netanyahu: A week full of truthiness

    From surreal exaggerations to outright lies, Netanyahu dished up another batch of nonsense utterings to a foreign audience in Berlin this week. We picked three of the best and broke them down for you. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has something of a track record of saving his most nonsensical and demonstrably false statements for foreign audiences. Although honesty is also not his strong point on home turf, it's when he's speaking in English that he gets really creative. Less than four months after his bumbling attempt to pin the Holocaust on the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem aroused equal parts derision and mirth…

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  • Archaic gag order lifted: Two Israeli civilians being held in Gaza

    This is the third time in five years — that we can discuss — in which Israeli authorities have tried to use comprehensive gag orders to stop the publication of stories of public interest. This also is the third time that the Internet has made a mockery of such efforts to control information. A 28-year-old Israeli man, Avraham 'Avera' Mengistu, crossed into the Gaza Strip in October 2014 and never returned. +972 and the Israeli media has been unable to tell you anything about Mengistu until today, when a nine-month comprehensive gag order was lifted on the entire affair as…

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  • Israel renews restrictions on nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu

    Despite serving 18 years in prison, including 11 in solitary confinement, Vanunu is forbidden from traveling and speaking to the media. Recently, he was denied a permit to speak before the British Parliament, following an invitation by 54 MPs.  The Israeli interior minister and the IDF Central Command have decided to extend restrictions on nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu's freedom of movement and speech. Vanunu’s attorney, Avigdor Feldman, has been notified on the decision and told +972 Magazine he will once again petition the High Court of Justice on Vanunu's case. Since his release from prison in 2004, Vanunu hasn't been…

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  • Press freedom in Israel: Democracy in the age of self-censorship

    More worrying than the institutional instruments that enable censorship are the multiple forms of self-censorship that are deeply ingrained in the journalistic practices and conventions of Israeli media. By Ido Liven As the Hebrew proverb goes, "be a tail among lions rather than a head among foxes." In Freedom House's latest report, Israel's state of press freedom demonstrates just that. In the organization's 2012 report, Israel scored 30 on a scale of 10 to 97, putting its press freedom status at the bottom of the better “free” category. In the 2013 report, released on May 1, the country lost one point,…

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  • 'Prisoner X' and the security elite's unchecked power

    Recent actions taken by the heads of the army, Mossad and the internal security service (Shin Bet) reveal the Israeli security establishment's unsupervised power, and the way it directs that power at the country’s own citizens and elected officials. These are the main details which have been made public in the affair of Ben Zygier, also known as 'Prisoner X': Zygier was probably recruited by the Mossad in the years following his immigration to Israel; the Australian secret service grew suspicious of Zygier after he changed his name and took out new passports four different times; according to the latest…

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  • Journalist Uri Blau to stand trial for holding leaked documents

    Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced on Wednesday his intention to indict Uri Blau, one of Israel's top investigative reporters, for possession of classified materials without permission. The materials in question are documents given to Blau by whistleblower Anat Kamm; Kamm, then a conscript clerk in the office of GOC Central Command, copied them from the GOC's computer, believing they constituted evidence of war crimes carried out in defiance of international law and Israel's own Supreme Court, including summary executions of terrorism suspects who could have been detained. Kamm is presently serving a four and a half-year prison sentence following a…

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  • WATCH: New York Times and Al Jazeera commentary on Anat Kamm

    I have a brief op-ed up on the New York Times and in today's International Herald Tribune, discussing the repercussions of Anat Kamm's sentence. One of the things I wanted to highlight is the highly disturbing insinuation reflected in the decision to prosecute Kamm on the charges of espionage. Does that mean that informing the public constitues treason - and that the state and the army see the Israeli public as a potential enemy?  And will we now see the reporter who published Kamm's documents, Uri Blau, go on trial for doing his job? A few days earlier, on Sunday, I…

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  • Condemnation of Kamm post-sentencing reflects country's mood

    Talkbackers call Anat Kamm, who was sentenced to four and a half years jail time and 18 months' probation, a "traitor" and say she should spend life in prison, reflecting Israel's march to the right. And though it seems as though Kamm's case has come to a close, questions remain. Sunday morning, Anat Kamm—the former soldier who leaked classified documents to Haaretz reporter Uri Blau—was sentenced to four and half years in prison and a year and a half of probation. This is in addition to the two years Kamm already spent under house arrest. Speaking to reporters, Prosecutor Hadas…

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  • Court sentences IDF whistleblower Anat Kamm to 4.5 years

    This post has been updated. The Tel Aviv District court has sentenced Anat Kamm to  four and a half years in prison. The sentence writes the final line in a campaign of  scapegoating that has already caused deep and lasting damage to independent Israeli journalism. Anat Kamm, the journalist who leaked over a thousands pages of classified IDF documents to Haaretz journalist Uri Blau was sentenced on Sunday by the Tel Aviv District Court to four and a half years in prison. The documents, which Kamm copied while serving as a conscript clerk in the office of then-GOC Central Command…

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  • TIMELINE: The Anat Kamm affair

    In the spring of 2010, it emerged that a young journalist had been under house arrest for several months for leaking documents that led to the publication of an investigative report on IDF misconduct. Thanks to an unprecedented media blackout, the case made headlines around the world. Anat Kamm, who was originally sentenced to four-and-a-half year prison sentence for the leak, left prison on January 26, 2014 after being approved for early release. Uri Blau, the journalist behind the report, was sentenced to four months community service, as part of a plea bargain. This is how the case unfolded. December…

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  • URGENT: Journalists' petition against the prosecution of Uri Blau

    [Please scroll down for the actual petition - everything preceding it is my own commentary]. Earlier this week, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein informed Haaretz reporter Uri Blau he will hold a hearing for him at the end of the month, to decide whether to put him on trial. This step would have disastrous ramifications for Israeli freedom of the press, wounding it behind recovery. At the bottom of the post is a petition to the Israeli Attorney General, urging him not to press charges against the journalist; you can read more about the campaign on Noam's blog.  As of 7…

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  • Israeli Wikileaks: Journalists demand not to try Haaretz reporter

    Israel's Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has summoned Haaretz journalist Uri Blau to a formal hearing – the last procedural step before prosecuting Blau in a criminal court. The 7th eye website reports [Hebrew] that the hearing will take place towards the end of the month. Last March, The Tel Aviv Office for the General Prosecution announced that it was considering prosecuting Blau for unauthorized possession of classified information. Following the procedures against Blau, dozens of Israeli journalists have signed a petition, demanding not to put Haartez's reporter on trail (my translation from Hebrew). We - journalists and media people who…

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  • Incitement and violence: A week on Israel's slippery slope

    How much farther down can we slide? Oh, I fear there’s still a long way down from here. After all, so far, our skin heads and settlers only beat up Arabs. Lots more to look forward to, no? By Dror Feuer | Published originally on Globes, translated from Hebrew and linked by Shir Harel. A. Nice week we had, huh? The sun was shining, in Jerusalem we discovered dozens of skin heads with Rabbi Kahane shirts who attack Arabs, an ifantry soldier's cell phone revealed photos and videos documenting abuse of Arabs, including children: The soldiers forced them to dance and…

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