The plea agreement reached between the state prosecution and the attorney representing Haaretz reporter Uri Blau – allowing him to avoid jail time in exchange for confessing to unauthorized possession of state secrets – is a victory for common sense.
In agreeing to the plea bargain, the prosecution managed prove its determination to indict Blau in addition to Anat Kamm (the former soldier who passed the documents on to the journalist and who is currently imprisoned). And if Blau did what the indictment says he did, then he deserves punishment. On the other hand, the prosecution didn't yield to public pressure to hang Blau in the town square.
The prosecution looked at the facts of the case, not the person in question. It considered the principles of the case and not the characters. In doing so, it clearly pointed to the importance of freedom of speech and freedom of the press and displayed a deep understanding of the way a democratic state should treat its free media.
One last thing: The plea agreement clearly pointed out the difference between the crimes committed by the two main characters in the affair: Kamm, who stole classified documents from the Israel Defense Forces, was severely punished and sentenced to four and a half years in jail, while Blau, who deviated from the accepted norm but did so within the confines of journalistic work, got off lightly.