Daily Israel Report

Kadima's Shamalov Joins Demand to Close Down Haaretz

MK Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich joined MK Michael Ben-Ari in demanding that the Minister of Interior order Haaretz shut down over espionage affair.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/12/2010, 8:42 PM / Last Update: 4/12/2010, 8:52 PM

Knesset website

MK Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich (Kadima) asked the Minister of Interior Monday to use his powers to close down the Haaretz newspaper, following recent revelations of an espionage scandal involving the newspaper's reporter, Uri Blau, and a former soldier, Anat Kam.

Her request follows an identical one by MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari of the National Union.

“One of Israel's most serious scandals involving security and the media has recently been exposed,” Shamalov-Berkovich noted. “A journalist for Haaretz newspaper enticed a female soldier to give him secret documents illegally, and in breach of all rules and state security.”

"The Haaretz reporter is hiding in an unknown location with the documents in his possession and refuses to turn himself in,” she went on. “Mr. Blau is an employee of the newspaper, the newspaper publishes Blau's articles that rely on the forbidden material, and it has made its contribution to the newspaper's reputation and and enlarging its exposure and sales.”

"The voice of the newspaper's management is not heard these days and it seems that it, too, has chosen to hide,” the rookie MK noted in the letter to Minister Eli Yishai. “I believe that the newspaper's management must be made to bear responsibility for bringing the reporter back to Israel, and as his employer it must make sure the materials that are in his possession are returned. If Haaretz fails to do so its newspaper license should be revoked without delay.” 

Haaretz owner Amos Shocken, as well as the newspaper's editor in chief, Dov Alfon, have been interviewed in the media defending Blau and saying they will continue to pay his salary while he stays in a secret location in London.