HaSmuim Channel 10On the one hand, Channel 10 Israel is going bankrupt. But on the other hand, it radically endangered the lives of undercover policemen this week, so if it goes out, at least it’ll go out with a bang.

Don’t be too quick to blame it on Channel 10 though, since they followed procedure. One of their shows, הסמויים (HaSmuyim) is about real undercover cops in sensitive situations. Before they air an episode, they send a copy months before to police headquarters, where a team is supposed to review the material, making sure that nothing security-compromising has been revealed and that its teams’ identities are safe and secret. So Channel 10 did indeed send in the tapes for review. The problem is, this time, they just stayed in the drawers and nobody bothered to check them. Somehow, they got clearance to air the episode anyway, and by the time somebody at police headquarters realized that the episode revealed dangerously sensitive information on undercover agents, they were already watching it on Channel 10.

Israel Police

Things like this happen in Israel. I mean things like vital information staying in drawers for months and never getting dealt with. That’s why it takes 6 months to get something trivial like government approval for a foreign academic degree. They keep it in a drawer for 5 months, take a vacation for 3 weeks, misplace the drawers, and then give you government approval. But when lives are at stake, this is a first.

Police are checking the involvement of Chief of Police Dudi Cohen in giving the final OK to Channel 10, but it seems he was not aware of the sensitive information in the tapes at the time, or the fact that nobody saw them. Let’s just hope everything will be OK, and roll our eyes a bit. Hopefully, this will lead to a renewed sense of responsibility among police staff. We can only hope.