In a brave and very important decision, the Tel-Aviv district court judge Dalia Ganot determined that the court case dealing with the compensation claim of the former military intelligence man “Captain George” against the State of Israel and its ministry of defence will be held in open session. According to the plaintiff, he was thrown out of the army after the senior Hezbollah figure Mustafa Dirani, who was imprisoned in Israel in the past, accused him of raping him while interrogating him, when others were responsible to the violence against Dirani and proofs to that effect were hidden for a long period.
The question is not if Captain George’s claims are true and justified or not. The court will determine that after hearing all the evidence. The question is of limiting the power of the state and in particular the bodies entrusted by the state to carry out secret and sensitive activities when they come to deal, behind the shrouds of secrecy, with an individual that for some reason entered into a conflict or a disagreement with them. If the men of the military intelligence have proof that Captain George was responsible to the acts of which he was accused, they should present it to the court, and at the same time explain the video cassette that surfaced after a long period of time and that apparently points to others being responsible. Captain George intends to call former and current senior military officers as witnesses and he should be allowed to do so – if I believed I was falsely accused and a terrible damage was done to my reputation, I would raise hell until the truth had emerged.
The state of Israel allowed Dirani to sue it. We can only assume that in a utopian future we will also see Gilad Shalit suing the military commander of Hamas in Gaza, Ahmed Jabari, or the Regev and Goldwasser families suing Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. A much more important question that arises when this affair is mentioned is why is Dirani free these days and is back in Lebanon, instead of rotting in an Israeli jail until the missing navigator Ron Arad is returned, dead or alive. IDF soldiers risked their lives in a daring operation on enemy’s territory to bring Dirani to the place he deserves – the Israeli jail, and to obtain information about, or even the release of, Ron Arad. The release of Dirani in return for the drug dealer Elhanan Tenenbaum could have been prevented if it was not for the volumes of secret information to which Tenenbaum was exposed during his military service. Only for his shockingly irresponsible behaviour, Tenenbaum deserved to rot in Hezbollah’s jail for many years. I will decline from detailing here the disgraceful plea bargain agreed with him after his return from Lebanon so as not to throw up my breakfast.