Brain Bush’s Blog

The Soldier and the Journalist

  • By : Brian Bush
  • April 13, 2010
  • 3:30 pm

Hi Everyone!

Israel has been glued to interesting event I spoke about recently on the Harvest Show.

It involves a young woman who, during her compulsory military service, allegedly downloaded around 2000 secret military documents and passed them on to a local newspaper reporter.

The reporter has framed his defense (from outside the country) in the aura of a fighter for the freedom of the press, a defender of democracy, and that this is the outcome of Journalistic exposure.

Some are saying the young woman had an ideology out 'to get' Israel, some say it's only a matter of citizenship, and others that the editorial board of the newspaper is to blame for allowing potentially damaging military documents to be spoken of.

The paper is legitamate, one of Israel's largest, and well respected internationally. But it's critics have said their is no justification for a soldier stealing the amry's secrets and for the journalist to hold stolen documents.

The soldier and journalist say they did what they did in order to show the 'mechanism of occupation' and the 'injustice' that Israel is doing in the West Bank against the Palestinians. Some argue that the majority of the material does not deal with 'occupation'. But this whole subject is one of controversy in Israeli society as it wrestles with what circumstances it was created in and the decisions that have been made by those who have gone before them.

According to Israel's Attorney General, the representative of the country's legal establishment, no war crimes were committed, so the soldier and journalist will not face grave sentences if tried and found guilty.

But with the journalist out of the country some say he planned his 'flight' with secret documents – and that therein he could not have acted for reasons having to do with the pursuit of justice and morality.

Israel has complex relationship between freedom of the press and security needs. Some, perhaps unwisely, are turning this into a struggle over the continuation of Zionism rather than an issue boiling down to freedom of speech.

We'll keep you informed – thanks for checking in.

Brian Bush
Middle East Correspondent
LeSEA Broadcasting

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