Fundamentally Freund: Awakening the Left

The lifting of the gag order on the Anat Kamm affair should prompt some serious introspection on that side of the political spectrum.

April 14, 2010 23:30
3 minute read.
Anat Kam in court.

anat kam 311. (photo credit: Channel 2)


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The Anat Kamm affair has sent shock waves throughout the military and political establishments.

Allegations that the young soldier stole reams of sensitive IDF documents and passed them to Haaretz reporter Uri Blau raise serious questions about basic 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.

But of all the secrets that Kamm may have revealed, few are likely to be as explosive as the real bombshell she has unwittingly uncovered.

Kamm has cast a 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 Kamm are true, she is but the latest in a long line of ideologically-driven left-wingers who have betrayed the country.

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 the country’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-Aksa 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 harm the state.

Obviously, it would be unfair to tar the entire Left with the brush of disloyalty. But the lifting of the gag order on the Kamm 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, 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 Kamm’s defense. They are trying to paint her as an Israeli Erin Brockovich, motivated by the highest ideals to pursue truth and justice, rather than a Benedict Arnold who violated the trust placed in her.

For example, former Meretz chairman Yossi Sarid, writing in Haaretz on Sunday, sought to defend Kamm’s actions by suggesting that plenty of politicians have leaked documents.

That may be true, but it is beside the point. Just because a lot of people engage in an illegal act does not make it lawful or honorable.

And then there is the irrepressible Gideon Levy, who went so far as to praise Kamm 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 Kamm “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.

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 Anat Kamm, whose actions are inexplicably trumpeted as those of a hero.

Perhaps, as Kamm goes to trial, the Left will finally stop to think. Maybe, just maybe, they will look at the young, naive ideologue and finally see the hazards which their ideology have produced.

In this respect, the Kamm affair is a wake-up call, and the alarm bells are ringing.

The only question now is whether the Left will heed them.

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