MK Otniel Schneller (Kadima) expressed relief Sunday as former soldier Anat Kam was given a 4.5 year jail sentence for stealing IDF documents and leaking them to a reporter. Many had expected that Kam would get a less serious sentence.
However, Schneller said, “I would have put her in jail for longer. Her crime was more serious than people tend to think.”
The fact that Kam was not charged with spying gives the impression that her actions did not pose a threat to national security, when in fact, “she endangered Israeli citizens and soldiers” due to her political beliefs, Schneller told Arutz Sheva.
Schneller has proposed a law that would create a new category for crimes such as those committed by Kam, in which a soldier harms state security without working for an enemy country. “The law aims to send a warning to any anarchist or ‘idealist’ that they cannot harm state security,” he said.
The crimes defined by Schneller’s bill would carry a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
Allegations that the bill, and the case against Kam, are a blow to journalistic freedom are baseless, Schneller argued. “If an article is harmful to state security, should freedom of the press take precedence over the safety of Israel’s citizens? That is not worthy of being called journalism.”