Thursday, April 22, 2010

Another Perspective on the Anat Kamm Affair

Well, it could be Anat Kamm's affair - her affair with the media, with the police and GSS and with the judicisal system.

An affair of sympathy, warmth and even improper relations.

Some observations from a father with intimate knowledge of another "affair", Moshe Belogorodsky. We pick up in the middle of his letter:

...Although the story was troubling, even scary, I must admit I did not loose any sleep. After all, the Shabak and the police caught Anat and are keeping her locked up, far away from any possibility of causing further danger to the security and well-being of the Israeli public...And then came the real shock. For the past 3 months and up till this very day Anat Kamm is at home !!

I was puzzled, amazed, lost. I kept thinking there was some mistake. Surely there was a good reason why Shabak did not keep her in jail...That's when this story became personal for me, when my anger became real. I kept wondering: how did Anat's father, Mr. Kamm, pull it off? How did he succeed where I failed? What values did he instill in Anat that brought him victory where I tasted the bitter fruit of defeat? Or maybe it wasn't a questoin of values. Maybe it was his parenting skills, his superior pedagogical techniques that so impressed everyone?

You see, my daughter Chaya was also deemed a danger to public security and the State. Five years ago, at the age of 14, she was arrested during an anti-disengagement demonstration and accused of speaking rudely to a policewoman. She was brought before the juvenile judge in Tel Aviv, not far from where an 18-year old Anat was living at the time. The State prosecutor in our case asked the judge to keep my Chaya in jail until the end of the legal proceedings against her. On what grounds? Chaya was, you see, an ideologically motivated criminal. And because of her ideology she was unstopable. And dangerous to public and the State.

What was so dangerous about this girl? She participated in another non-violent civil disobedience demonstration a month before, was arrested, and released to yeshuv arrest, which forbade her from going to a similar demonstration. And now she disregarded that prohibition and refused to sit quetly while her friends were being thrown out of their homes. Thus, in the words of the prosecutor, her danger to the security of the State and the public was clear. Incredibly, the judge accepted this ridiculous argument.

In counter-argument I asked the judge to release my daughter to a full house arrest. I promised that we would keep her under 24/7 supervision. To no avail. The judge decided that we, the parents, could not be trusted to keep our dangerously criminal child from harming the Israeli public. She sent Chaya to jail, to await her trial. We appealed this outrageous decision, and our case went all the way to the Supreme Court of Israel. Ayalla Procaccia was the judge who heard our case there. When I found out that Ms. Procaccia was to be our judge, my heart fell. Ms. Procaccia is well known for her extreme leftist views, both before she came to the Supreme Court and during her work there. She accepted the prosecution's arguments. My 14-year old Chaya was indeed an ideplogical criminal. Her crime was "especially hard because it demonstrated utter disregard towards the law. Such behaviour cannot be treated lightly by the court, no matter what ideology stands behind such behaviour.

Freedom of speech and demonstration is the very symbol of democracy, as long as it remains within the confines of the law. Once it oversteps those boundries set by law, it becomes anti-democratic, seeking to impose by force those ideas that are deemed illegal. We must sent a clear message that no legitimacy will be given to act of law-breaking, done with the purpose of promoting a social or political ideology of any sort" Ms. Procaccia went even further, stating that " the illegal, disregardful behaviour of the accused leaves me no choice but to remove her from the ideological environment that pushed her into breaking the law". Not only did Ms. Procaccia refused to release Chaya to house arrest, she refused to release her to any place in Yehuda and Shomron! As a result of all the above Chaya spent 40 days in jail - before her trial even started.

Last week the State prosecution finally decided to ask the court to change the conditions of Anat Kamm's arrest...You can understand the relief I felt when I found out that it was Ms. Procaccia who was going to hear the case. Surely, she would know the right thing to do. I even faxed her office the copy of Chaya's protocol, just in case Mr. Procaccia forgot any details.

Well - it didn't work. I read Ms. Procaccia's decision regarding Anat. I am not a legal expert, and Procaccia's legal acrobatics are incomprehensible to me. But the bottom line of her decision was painfully clear: Anat can stay home! She is somehow less dangerous to the public than my Chaya was.

And now I am really scared. And the same questions keeps popping up: How could a person who is so clearly one-sided, so willing to shamelessly use her position to advance her own political agenda - how could such a person have the power to decide the fait of the citizens of this country??

Isn't it time for the Knesset Law Committie to hold a discussion regarding the simple question: How could a person like Ayalla Procaccia remain on Supreme Court??

Isn't it time for each one of us, citizens of Israel, to demand an answer to this question???

So, now you know why some people assume that the system works one way for those of the nationalist camp and another for the progressive, enlightened camp. Those of peace.

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