The PM and the publisher of the Israeli daily Yediot allegedly tried to form a deal to reduce the daily’s competition in exchange for more favorable coverage for Netanyahu.
Arnon Mozes, Netanyahu Photo credit: Roni Schutzer, Flash 90/Channel 2 News
Audio excerpts from conversations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the publisher of the Israeli daily Yediot Ahornot, Arnon Mozes, have drawn criticism from several politicians after they revealed that the two tried to form a deal to reduce the competition for the newspaper in exchange for more favorable coverage for the Prime Minister.
Former Minister Avi Gabai, who recently joined Labor, said on Saturday that Netanyahu’s time as PM “has ended,” stating that the Yediot case was “the most serious scandal ever linked to Netanyahu.”
“Listening to this conversation, you realize how the public’s thoughts and views are being negotiated for money,” Gabai said. “If this isn’t bribery, I don’t know what is.”
The Knesset’s Deputy Chairman, Meir Cohen of Yesh Atid, said, “The foundations of totalitarianism and fascism are first laid by taking over the media. If these two made a deal, tit for tat, this is unacceptable in a democracy.”
The recordings, published Friday on Channel 2, reveal that Netanyahu was willing to activate the Yisrael Hayom law, which would have ended the pro-Netanyahu daily’s free distribution, thus reducing Yediot’s competition.