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January 30, 2015 / 10 Shevat, 5775
 
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The Society For The Public’s Right Not To Know

Somebody in Israel should establish the Society for the Public’s Right Not to Know.

 

For a month now, Israeli society has been bullied into reading the minutiae of the Galant document (which outlines a public relations campaign designed to secure the IDF chief of staff post for Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant). There is nothing new about this scandal. The history of the appointment of the IDF’s military brass is replete with intrigues and politics. The Galant story is just another episode in the same narrative, but the media is force-feeding it to the public as if Iran had just crossed the point of no return on its way to a nuclear bomb.

 

There was something else going on this month, the trial of former president Moshe Katsav. I don’t know how I managed all these years without the court’s special authorization to publicize the prosecution and defense’s concluding arguments. How fortunate we are to have such juicy descriptions with which to busy our minds.

 

Sadly, the Katsav story is really nothing new. Katsav is probably not one of the righteous 36 individuals on whom the world relies, but he doesn’t seem to have broken the letter of the law, either. What is sure is that the media – and a number of other interested parties stirring up this foul mixture – are making a lot of money from the fact that the public has no right not to know.

 

All of us have been condemned to a steady stream of this sewage being pumped right into our brains. We can no longer think for ourselves. Every newscast’s half-hour update, and seemingly every Internet site, television broadcast and newspaper – and everything in between – must provide us with every last detail. This is literally as if Iran had just crossed the point of no return on its way to a nuclear bomb.

 

Yet another example: is there anybody out there who doesn’t understand the story behind the quaint letter that the prime minister’s wife sent to Minister of Internal Affairs Eli Yishai about the children of foreign workers? Everybody realizes that the letter was staged in advance with the minister himself. They both look great: she is very sensitive, and he is an effective and dedicated public servant.

 

The real boss in this country, the Supreme Court, had already neutralized the government’s decision to expel 400 children of foreign workers. Its ruling that any foreign child who has already begun submitting documents to the Interior Ministry (and the absolute majority has done so) will be given an unlimited extension to obtain all necessary documents means that the children will all be staying. In short, we are the audience in a soap opera that none of us has asked to see. But the saga is reported with such intensity that you would think that Iran’s Ahmadinejad had literally just crossed the point of no return in his production of a nuclear bomb.

 

Where is the Society for the Public’s Right Not to Know?

 

But there is something that we must know: As of this writing, Iran was indeed crossing the nuclear point of no return. The significance of the activation of the nuclear reactor in Bushehr is that now, if Israel bombs it, the effect will be like a nuclear strike on the city of Bushehr. In other words, the curtain has closed on Israel’s military option against the most serious threat to its survival since the State of Israel was established. Because if Israel did not dare bomb the reactor before it was activated, it will obviously not destroy it once it is “hot.”

 

So there you have it. There is only one thing not being discussed in the Israeli media, namely the fact that Iran has crossed the nuclear threshold on its way to realizing its dream of destroying Israel. Not that the subject has not been reported at all. I have heard it on the news. But today, when the media chooses to hide an item, they do not remove it. They bury it under mountains of irrelevance. When, for example, have you last heard about Anat Kam, who is accused of treason and espionage against Israel? Does anyone doubt how this story would be reported if the innocent lass had been ultra-Orthodox or a settler from Yitzhar?

 

The Galant document is a “terrible fiasco” that is reported minute-by-minute, 24 hours a day. The Katsav trial is earthshaking news. Sara Netanyahu’s letter is of urgent importance. But the fact that we are failing in the most important existential challenge that we have faced since Israel’s establishment – and that the modern-day Hitler has no more obstacles on his way to the nuclear bomb – is not newsworthy.

 

If we would have a Society for the Public’s Right Not to Know, it may be that our brains – presently stuffed full of ridiculous news items – would have some space to analyze this unimportant piece of news.

About the Author: Moshe Feiglin is the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset and a member of Israel's Security and Defense Committee. He heads the Manhigut Yehudit ("Jewish Leadership") faction of Israel's governing Likud party. He is the founder of Manhigut Yehudit and Zo Artzeinu and the author of two books: "Where There Are No Men" and "War of Dreams." Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in Combat Engineering and is a veteran of the Lebanon War. He lives in Ginot Shomron with his family.


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