this brig-gen censor woman actually says directly to poor richard: “we’ll meet again”

I went and looked at the original that he’s citing, and this is what the woman said: אנחנו עוד ניפגש בעתיד, “anachenu od nifgash be-yatid,” which means “we’ll meet again in the future” – RB

Israeli Military Censor Threatens “we will deal with him” (Me)
Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam (Blog), Apr 5 2016

Yesterday, Israel’s digital media held an annual conference. One of the subjects was the press’ relationship to the ever-present Israeli military censor. As in the past, the current censor appeared on the panel. And as in the past, she was peppered by questions about the stupidity, irksomeness and ineffectuality of Israel’s censorship regime. She was asked about several major stories I broke including the Boris Krasny and Anat Kamm cases. As you might imagine (and again, as has happened in the past), this blog and I came up in the questions posed to her. But unlike in the past, when Sima Vaknin-Gil was the censor and she attempted to minimize the importance of the role I play in reporting Israeli security stories, the new censor, Col. Ariella Ben Avraham, went to town on me.  Ice reports this interchange:

The name of the blogger, Richard Silverstein, came up more than once during the panel, regarding bloggers who don’t fall under jurisdiction of Israeli censorship, and publish information from their residences in Pindostan about explosive Israeli security stories: among them, the story of Kam’s arrest. According to censor Ben Avraham, “Relations between the censor and bloggers abroad is a big issue, where censorship is not the way you handle it. But if you’re going to do malicious damage, we’ll meet again [we will deal with him] in the future.”

The level of coarseness and braggadocio is unprecedented, compared to the relative humility of Vaknin Gil. That’s probably why Bogie Yaalon accepted the latter’s resignation and appointed the current attack dog, who has already expanded the censor’s reach into the entire realm of social media. This threat comes in the form of an I-dare-you, I-double-dare-you scenario of children in the playground. Either she’s threatening that she will sic the dogs of the Israeli security apparatus on me here in Seattle, or she’s daring me to come to Israel where she and her security cronies can get their hands on me. Though I don’t relish putting myself in jeopardy for the sake of staring down an Israeli bully, it might be worth calling her bluff some day. Who knows, if the Digital media conference invites me next year, I might come. That should set off fireworks. Either Ben Avraham arrests me at the airport and throws me in the Shin Bet dungeons, or (she doesn’t) and I get to face her at the conference. Knowing how these apparatchiks work, she’ll refuse to give me the pleasure of showing up, thinking that (doing so would) somehow further validate my importance. She behaved in a similar manner when I called her directly several weeks ago, while I was reporting a story involving her office. I asked her a series of questions, and every single one I asked, she answered with these same few words:

I cannot talk to you. You will have to call the spox from Tzahal.

It got to be where I thought I was talking to an IDF robot. Ben Avraham made one statement in her remarks which hovers somewhere between a lie and a deliberate obfuscation. It concerns the case of Krasny, Israel premier corporate lobbyist who once was a double agent for the Mossad who betrayed Marcus Klingberg, the Soviet Union’s top spy in Israel. At a conference last autumn, an MK mentioned Krasny’s name to criticize the stifling impact that lobbying has in Israeli politics. The remarks were immediately censored, even though the MK didn’t mention Krasny’s past working for the Mossad. In her comments, Ben Avraham claimed that she had no interest in Krasny’s political activities, and that reference to him was censored not because of his powerful lobbying interests, but solely because of his security record. This is disproven on its face by the fact that Miki Rosenthal, the MK who mentioned Krasny, never mentioned the latter’s job working for the Mossad. So in effect, the censor is protecting Krasny from facing any criticism for his current toxic impact on Israel’s political system.

jewish soldier 79

While we’re at it, why don’t we tweak the censor once again by reporting yet another story that is under gag order? This one involves the arrest of Israeli Jewish settler Pini Shandorfi, aged 22, who was detained by the Shin Bet for unspecified security offenses. As readers know, in the aftermath of the Hebron execution by Sgt Elor Azarya, Israel is in an uproar. The far right is furious that the army is prosecuting the killer at all, let alone on the reduced charge of manslaughter. No doubt, there are settlers like Shandorfi seeking to exploit this tumult to execute a flashy terror attack on a Plastelinan Arab target. Shandorfi has a sordid past. In 2012, he was among the troops called upon to demolish an illegal outpost near Yitzhar, but he stripped himself out of his uniform and joined the lawbreakers, saying:

This is how I was educated at home.

In any other army in the world, this would be mutiny. In time of war, he would be hanged. In peacetime, he would at least expect time in the brig. But not in Israel, where they treat settlers with kid gloves. Shandorfi’s “punishment” was a removed from combat duty to a cushy desk job. Shandorfi’s father is an infamous racist settler rabbi, who in 2009 described Barack Obama as a “nigger” and “that Arab they call a president.” He has also been arrested for interfering with IOF clearing of other illegal outposts. Yet somehow he still remains an official Israeli state rabbi, paid by the creeple to insult the POTUS and stick his finger in the eye of the IOF.

Article Based on Publicly-Accessible Report Censored by IOF
Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam (Blog), Apr 6 2016

We all know how much the IOF censor hates me. Tonight, lets add a little tinder to the fire, shall we? Haaretz published a report today (in english – RB) revealing that an unclassified IDF report (full uncensored report here and accessible directly in IOF website here), written by the military press office to tout the achievements of the army’s campaign in Gaza during Operation Projective Edge, revealed that the IDF uses drones to assassinate Plastelinan militants Arabs. The absolute foolishness of the censorship regime can be seen in the fact that it’s legal for the IOF to boast about killing Plastelinans Arabs with drones, but it’s illegal for Haaretz to translate three sentences from that report into English and publish it. Ironically, the IOF press office, which produced the original report, doesn’t have to submit its work product to the censor before publication. So the censor doesn’t oversee this unit. However, it does oversee Haaretz, and hence the oddity at hand.


I’m going to do a small favor on behalf of transparency and against the hypocrisy of the censorship regime by exposing as much of it as I can here. On page 68, the report lists two specific “Zik” (Hermes 450) drone attacks which killed a total of 17 militants Arabs at the start of the war:

On Jul 8 2014, the IOF using the Zik attack drone killed four terrorists who penetrated to the beach at Zikim (near Ashkelon). On Jul 17 2014, the IOF using the Zik thwarted the penetration of 13 terrorists through a tunnel from southern Gaza.

The Hebrew word “thwarted” connotes that the latter was a targeted killing. The censor doesn’t want the Israeli public or the world to know something which they already know: that IOF drones kill people. It wants the world to believe it uses them to collect intelligence alone. Stuff and nonsense. Israel is the world’s foremost exporter of drones (see chart below). Among its clients are states as corrupt as they are brutal, including the Toads, Azerbaijan and India. Does anyone in their right mind believe that dictators who buy these weapons use them to take nice pictures? No, they use them to find and liquidate their enemies, whoever they may be.


The Snowden NSA documents revealed that the agency and its British counterpart had hacked into the video feeds of IAF drones, fighter jets, and even the top-secret Arrow missile program. These two agencies had already exposed the IAF use of drones to kill Plastelinans Arabs. So what’s the big secret? The Israeli press watchdog site 7th Eye, reported this story, without revealing anything about the original subject of the report: drones killing Plastelinans Arabs. Reading it gives you the odd sense that you know the censor is keeping something secret, without having any idea what it is and why it’s secret. I’m not sure how useful such an enterprise is as a press watchdog. I hope Israelis reading this will take a few moments to heap scorn on Col Ariella Ben Avraham and the censor “drones” who work so tirelessly to prevent the Israeli creeple from knowing what it and half the world already know. Please tweet this and post it to Facebook freely.

Israeli Supreme Court Breaks Security Gag Order
Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam (Blog), Apr 7 2016


To: Col Ariella Ben Avraham, Chief IDF Censor, Yoram Cohen, Shabak Chief
From: Your Loyal Subjects
Subject: Flagrant Violator of Your Edicts

My dear Madam Censor and Shabak Chief: I write this memo to inform you of an influential player in Israeli society who flagrantly violates your censorship-gag regime. As you, Madam Colonel are boldly and aggressively increasing your role in said society, including overseeing social media and the World Wide Web, I urge you to act to bring the Israeli Supreme Court to heel. The justices, who seem to believe there exists some nostalgic concept of the independent role of the judiciary in a democratic society, have exposed the names (pdf, document available online too) of two of three accused Israeli Jewish terrorists, being investigated for planning attacks against Plastelinans Arabs. These brazen jurists have named them as Pini (Pinchas) Shandorfi (a name already exposed by that troublesome blogger you’ve threatened with just retribution here). The second is Shneur Dana. Fortunately, the justices have withheld the third name out of respect for the suspect’s status as a minor. It hardly matters that the justices in their filing portrayed the planned crimes of the accused as conspiracy to commit terror attacks as a racist hate crime, along with acts of incitement meant to rouse Israeli society against those interlopers called Plastelinans in Yesha. These are nothing compared to the sacrosanct prerogatives of the military censor and our domestic protectors of the Shabak. And need I add that even these details about the case against the suspects are under gag order, which is violated by our august Solons of the Supreme Court? I’m sure those irksome civil libertarians and supporters of the Court will raise those tiresome notions of the public’s need to know such information in order to be informed participants in a democratic society. But we all know that security and protecting the elites, including our friends in the Shabak (not to mention our fine boys who protect the purity of Yesha) is far more important in our national security state. How can anyone possibly think that the rule of law should trump secrecy and national security? I urge you to take immediate action to ensure these justices realize the error of their ways and the damage they are doing to the national security state, not to mention the aid and comfort they are giving to our Arab enemies by introducing our nation’s secrets to that dirty, foul place called the internet. Your loyal subject, Yonatan Swiftinsky

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