The Moral of the Story

There is a story of a scene in a kindergarten, in which the teacher told the children about the wonders of nature. Among the phenomena of nature, she explained to the children how in the animal kingdom, mothers protect their young, cheetahs defend their cubs against lions, and foxes protect their cubs against hyenas. Among these stories, the one that shocked the children most was the story of snakes sneaking into a bird’s nest to devour the eggs and chicks. The teacher asked, “Why is this story to most difficult to accept?” A young boy answered, “Because the deed is done quietly, secretly, beyond the view of all.” The teacher responded, “The snake’s deed is so evil, that it is preferable that he cannot speak, so that he won’t be able to tell his friends about it.”

The Australian secret service, unfortunately unlike the snake, is able to speak. However, its behavior is reminiscent of the behavior of the snake. Both attempt to devour the young, sneak into a place to which it does belong, exploit the work of others, but in contrast to the snake, the Australian secret service has the ability to speak and shows no shame of its actions.

Mr. X died because he was captured by the Australian secret service, which took an interest in the information to which he was privy through his service to another country. The Australian secret service forced Mr. X to provide it with information and then leaked the information to the press, which resulted in Mr. X’s suicide.

Suddenly, Australia is taking a stand and crying out for the sake of its citizen, who chose to make his home in a different country, and served it faithfully. His service to the State of Israel in no way endangered Australia, but actually served to protect it. Australia is a country which requires information, as it is located in the eye of a storm, surrounded by hostile states seeking the wealth and quality of life of this magical place. However, Australia abandoned its citizen who was working for another country, left its wounded in the battlefield, and leaked his work for the Mossad to the Australian press, forcing him to pay for his actions and take his life with his own hands.

Instead of lowering its head and apologizing, Australia has suddenly taken the stance of the righteous player in this story, demanding explanations. Between the lines, even before the entire story has broken, it is clear that Mr. X’s native country of Australia is the one who betrayed him. He paid with his life, as he could not face the shame that his native Australia imposed upon him. Instead of taking a righteous stand for the rights of the free press and the right of the public to know, Australia would do well to investigate itself, and it would find that its own reckless behavior brought about the death of this young man, who could still be among us, if he had not been persistently harassed.

About the Author
Dr David Altman is senior vice-president at the Netanya Academic College and vice-chair of the college's Strategic Dialogue Center