Israeli journalist, Uri Blau, will be indicted for possession of classified Israeli military documents, by Israel’s Attorney General, Yahuda Weinstein, Haaretz reports.Blau, who reports for Israeli newspaper Haaretz, received the documents from Anat Kamm, who was convicted in February of passing the documents on without authorization.
The State Prosecutor’s office stated during the announcement that he intends to indict Blau, that there was no connection between Blau’s activity as a professional journalist and the possession of the classified documents and that ‘betrayed his duty – and later his commitment before the state – to cease possession of them.’
Such statements raise question’s as to the nature of Israel’s commitment to a free and open press, suggesting that Blau’s should place his duty to his nation above those of the ethics of his profession.
The Israeli Justice Department, quoted by Haaretz, states that the decision was made ‘after taking into account all of the relevant considerations, including the need to restrain the enforcement policy in order to maintain the Israeli press as a free press which fulfills its duty.’ [sic]
All material published in Hebrew in Israel must be checked by military censors prior to publication and the military regularly obtains gag orders from the court system to prevent reporting of events, such as the Anat Kamm affair.
Initially, when Kamm was arrested and Blau fled Israel to avoid arrest, reporting on the matter was barred in Israel.
The conviction of Kamm has become Israel’s second highest profile case of whistle blowing following the imprisonment of Mordechai Vanunu, a technician at the Negev Nuclear Research Center, in 1988.
Vanunu was charged with treason, and served 18 years in jail, following his passing reports to the British press confirming the existence of nuclear weapons built at the Dimona Nuclear Plant.
The State of Israel continues to this day to refuse to confirm that it is the only state in the Middle East in possession of nuclear arms, and has repeatedly refused to allow UN investigators into its nuclear plants.