24 January 2020

Naama Issachar's story - or how to be stupider than stupid.

Naama Issachar, the girl in the picture below, is, most probably, going to be released from a Russian jail soon. I am glad for her, 7.5 years for a small stash of hashish* is indeed a cruel and unusual punishment, especially taking into account that she didn't intend to enter Russia. And here my happiness and good will end.

Israeli Naama Issachar gestures during an appeal hearings in a courtroom in Moscow
To every Israeli familiar with the local facial expressions and gestures, the picture above shows a girl defiant. Only there is nothing to be defiant about. Naama was caught, confessed and, no matter the cruelty of the sentence, is guilty. There is absolutely nothing to be defiant about.

Moreover, the relentless pressure her family and friends succeeded to apply to our dear leaders has allowed Kremlin to up the payment for Naama's early release:
According to Hebrew media reports, Russia has asked Israel to transfer a piece of Russian Orthodox Church property near the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem’s Old City to the Kremlin as a goodwill gesture ahead of Issachar’s release.Reports have also indicated that Russia may seek strong Israeli backing for its position in a spat with Poland over responsibility for World War II, including a possible public statement from Netanyahu or Rivlin.
Sounds reasonable? Maybe, sometimes the goal justifies the means.

What sounds much less reasonable and exudes a strong smell of chutzpah is the behavior of our subject. What this source (and it's a solid one for most news items) says is mind-boggling:
Israeli Naama Issachar, serving a seven-and-a-half-year sentence in Russia on charges of drug smuggling, did not ask the Russian president for pardon. This was stated by the Commissioner for Human Rights Tatyana Moskalkova, according to Interfax. According to the Ombudsman, Issachar believes that the appeal of her mother and of Prime Minister of Israel is enough to consider a pardon.
And, if the above isn't enough of characterization, here is another tidbit, from an Israeli source this time:
The Israeli imprisoned in Russia was interviewed by a local newspaper and said she might still write a book about her time in prison: "I still don't believe I will be released so soon".
A book now? Many a Soviet prisoner, Jewish included, have written about their experience in the Soviet soul-crushing prison camps. Most of them were heroes, whose imprisonment was a badge of honor. Not in this case.

The only book I envision for dear Naama is a notebook with a few hundred pages, where every page contains a hundred sentences: "I am not going to do anything stupid anymore".

To remind you, Naama is 27 years old...

So there.

(*) For some reason many Israeli newspapers state it was marijuana Naama was carrying. No, it wasn't. Hashish.