The role of a journalist in a truly free state is to challenge the state

An Haaretz response to a growing Israeli and global scandal (does the Jewish state really want more attention on its clearly illegal policy of assassinating “terrorists” without a clear legal mandate?)

Over the last two years, Haaretz reporter Uri Blau has exposed a series of details that shed light on the conduct of the Israel Defense Forces and the security services in the Palestinian territories.

Every article which was published by Haaretz was submitted for vetting by the military censor, which in turn approved the contents in their entirety.

In September 2009, Blau was summoned to the offices of the Shin Bet, where he was instructed to turn over documents that were used in preparing his articles. From this time forward, Haaretz attorney Mibi Moser and Blau conducted a dialogue with the Shin Bet’s top legal advisor over the return of these documents.

These talks culminated in the signing of an agreement on September 15, 2009, whereby Blau handed over to the Shin Bet dozens of classified documents that were in his possession. In turn, the Shin Bet pledged not to investigate the writer over his sources, to refrain from questioning the writer as a suspect, and to refrain from using the documents as evidence in the trial of the individual suspected of leaking the information.

Following the arrest of Anat Kam, the Shin Bet notified Moser that his client, Blau, was wanted for further questioning. Moser replied that this demand is in contravention of the terms of the agreement reached with the Shin Bet and that he is advising his client to refuse.

From this moment, the Shin Bet refused to abide by the terms of the agreement which it signed. Haaretz regrets the sudden change in the Shin Bet’s stance and its attendant results, which are characterized by heavy pressure and threats against a journalist who is carrying out his duties.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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