Monday, 12 April 2010

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Ministry of Truth

Ministry of Truth

Yuval Elbashan is a lawyer by training. I dare you to find even the remotest vestige of respect for the law in his op-ed today, in which he castigates any and all journalists who didn't line up to support Uri Blau, possessor of illegally stolen documents, and perhaps obstructor of a criminal investigation. On the contrary: everything that has been written or said that does not support Haaretz, is cited as evidence of the failure of reporters and pundits to do their job.

An outsider scrutinizing their conduct in this affair will not be able to avoid feeling shame. Of all people, they are the ones who took on the role of spokesmen for the establishment, as if they were still conscripts. With enthusiasm they reiterated the claim that the material held by Blau has the potential to cause harm. They are the ones who disseminated the claim - without being able to check or verify it - that the case involves hundreds of documents that constitute state secrets. And they are the ones who volunteered the claim that the quantity of documents held by Blau is what makes him qualitatively different from them and their documents, and hence justifies his persecution.

- When did you last beat your wife?
- But I'm not married and never beat anyone!
- Aha! So you're also a liar, not only a wife beater!

Elbashan isn't on the payroll of Haaretz, so his position may be a sincere expression of a worldview. Back in the early days of this blog I created a tag called "Rational Discourse?", which I use to flag cases when such discourse is not possible. Maybe I now need to add a tag "Rational Discourse Not Possible!" Not because Elbashan isn't entitled to his own opinions or those of this groupthink colleagues; rather for his thought process. If anyone agrees with us, he's right. If they don't, it's further proof, not only that we're right, but also that the others are dominated by the Evil Ones.

The Evil Ones being the authorities of the State of Israel.

In a related matter, Anat Kamm's lawyers seem to have come to their senses. Rather than sacrifice their client for an ideal, they're bending over backwards to assist the authorities (or, as Elbashan might put it, the dangerous authorities). They have announced that Kamm revokes any claim she might have had to Uri Blau's protection of her as a source. On the contrary: her/their position is that he should return immediately to Israel and hand over to the authorities whatever documents he received from her. It will be interesting to see what happens next. Interesting, and instructive.

Yaacov Lozowick's Ruminations: Ministry of Truth

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