MK Almog Cohen
MK Almog CohenIsrael National News

Supreme Court Justice Yosef Elron rejected a petition this morning by MK Almog Cohen (Otzma Yehudit) to publish the name of a soldier who has been accused of serious espionage.

The lieutenant is accused of having entered the Southern Command base without permission under the cover of the prevailing chaos, pretended to have the rank of captain, and took part in classified meetings without having been permitted to do so. The indictment was filed last month and alleges among other charges that he entered command centers and recorded classified communications.

The judge accepted the claims by security officials that the publication of his name would endanger state security.

“I have been convinced, especially after the explanations presented by security officials in a hearing where they were the only ones represented, that there is real concern that publishing the details of the accused and the individuals with whom he met may give an advantage to the enemies of the state,” Elron wrote in his decision.

“Had I been convinced that irrelevant considerations were behind the demand to forbid the publication of these details, the results of this appeal would have been different,” he added.

MK Almog Cohen (Otzma Yehudit) commented after the decision: “I will not rest until the truth comes to light. We will work harder.”

Journalist Noam Amir responded to the decision as well: “The fact that the judge has accepted the claims of security officials proves how serious and dramatic the story is. There is no judge yet born who would reject the claims of security officials.”

Cohen recently told Arutz Sheva - Israel National News that publishing the name would not harm state security. “His name is already out on social media due to a typo made in the original censored indictment. We claimed that the public nature of the debate and the right of the public to know is more important because in the end the actions he took and the intelligence he accessed are no longer relevant and there is no longer any reason to hide this affair from the public.”

“I see no rational reason to hide the details and so am insisting that they be published. As the opposition increases, I begin to fear that the motivation is to protect certain people and less to do justice. What about the people to whom the information was passed - did they report it, as is required by law when such sensitive information is under discussion? Will they be investigated? Will they give an accounting?” Cohen wondered.

“I respect the judge's decision, but I think he is mistaken. The public interest is at stake, especially when I am on air talking about this. The public interest and right to know, as well as the publicity of the discussion and freedom of the press, are supposed to act as the canary in the coal mine of democracy. Unfortunately, I am alone in this affair, but I am not afraid to work alone. I am ultimately trying to fix the problems in our society.”

“When the security system is mistaken and receives support instead of being challenged, that is a warning sign that must be noticed. It is my job to notice it. The judge should have allowed the publication of at least the names of the people to whom the information was passed. I once again point out that secret information, which caused the ground offensive into Gaza to be delayed by two weeks, was involved. This is absolutely insane.”