Case 4000: 'What helps them, helps us,' - former Walla CEO Ilan Yeshua

New transcripts published from case 4000 paint a problematic picture for Israel's 'royal couple', who seem to have been in complete and absolute control of their image on the news site Walla.

Sara, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, arrives at a court hearing in the fraud trial against her (photo credit: REUTERS)
Sara, wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, arrives at a court hearing in the fraud trial against her
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Channel 13 news published several new transcripts from the interrogations into case 4000 against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The newly exposed investigation information included the conversations between former Walla CEO Ilan Yeshua and then-owner of Bezeq, Shaul Elovitch and his wife Iris.

Iris Elovitch, who was very dominant in the Netanyahu-Bezeq-Walla axis, told Yeshua that "There's an anger towards us there... It's not good, let's start a column... A guest article twice a week."

Ilan Yeshua: "Alright. Who are the names?"

Iris Elovitch: "For example Guy Bechor (right-wing activist), he's great in my opinion. Alright, no?"

IY: "Great. Completely agree. Next."

IE: "Erez Tadmor (another right wing activist)."

IY: "Where's he from?"

IE: "I don't know... and who is Shimon Riklin?"

IY: "Shimon Riklin is fine. He's a very good friend of [former Bayit Yehudi MK} Yinon [Magal] and he's alright, smart."

IE: "Let's start betting on the right horse."

IY: "I'll call them today."

IE: "Now we need to calm Tal [Shalev, Walla's political correspondent]. She came here as a leftist, but we said she was a leftist pet. She became a doberman... We need to make a correction quickly. This man - Netanyahu - is going to stay for a long time. I told Shaul [Elovich] - I'm willing to sell my soul to the devil for the team, and I'm ready for it. It costs me my health, you wouldn't understand."

Shaul Elovitch doesn't hesitate to call Yeshua himself as well.

Shaul Elovitch: "It's been sitting on the front page for hours." (Angry at a story on Walla's site regarding the "bottle scandal", which would later turn into a part of case 1000 against the Netanyahus.

IY: "Shaul, I'm telling you, my throat hurts already. You're right. 

SE: "It's bottles."

IY: "Overall we're filtering out about 90%."

SE: "I'm sure I'll be cursed out today. Just kidding. I won't tell her no, [most likely referring to Mrs. Netanyahu]. I just don't know what to say."

IY: "Shaul, we're taking it down. Taking down a lot of things, I swear to you."

Later, it was published that a criminal investigation into the "residence scandal" (for which Sara Netanyahu was indicted, pled guilty and was ultimately fined) had begun. Another phone call with Shaul Elovich.

SE: "They can't publish anything on this. It's not news, it's not interesting, they need to leave it."

IY: "Alright, alright."

According to the report, then-CEO of Bezeq, Stella Handler also doesn't hesitate to call Yeshua to complain about an article critical of Sara Netanyahu, but the real star is Iris Elovich.

IE: "Menny Naftali doesn't deserve a stage," she says, referring to an item in which Menny Naftali was quoted, bitter enemy of the Netanyahus."

IY: "They did this to me on purpose now."

IE: "Who did this to you, Ilan?"

IY: "Avi, nevermind. He's just, he's an idiot, that's all," he said, referring to Walla Desk Editor Avi Alcalay.

IE: "He did it himself?"

IY: "He's an idiot, he's an idiot, he's an idiot."

IE: "Now what do we do? How do you move him with all he knows about you now, about us?"

IY: "I don't know, we'll see soon, I've already lost my mind."

The drama surrounding coverage of the story with Manny Naftali continued. Walla "fixed" the story, but the attached video isn't edited well enough.

A story that Sara Netanyahu wanted to surround the Naftali video and accompanying news scandal.

IE: "I sent her the story."

IY: "You sent it to her now?"

IE: "Listen to me for a second. You need to pretend that there's an error."

IY: "I can't just create an error. The desk editors know when there are glitches."

Yeshua tells Elovich to fire Walla Editor Avi Alcalay.

IY: "Maybe I'll put Udi Hirsch in, his deputy... You need somone that the wasps accept. The wasps down there."

IE: "And Udi, can you tell him 'do this, do that'?"

IY: "The moment I place him there he'll be so happy he'd do anything... Avi just left now because I told him - 'You fucker, leave, get out of here, walk out of here'."

IE: "Shaul is going nuts about it."

IY: "I'm sick already, Iris, I'm sick. We'll talk to Nir Hefetz soon. Don't promise her [Sara Netanyahu] that anymore. 

IE: "The second I see her name, I hide under the desk and put on a bulletproof vest."

After diplomatic correspondent Amir Tibon left Walla News:

IY: "I'm very frustrated... I do everything you want, but I suggest you be careful we don't cross a line."

IE: "I don't want you to be Israel Hayom. I want you to be centrist, okay?"

IY: "Their scale is absolutely crazy. It's not centrist, not right or left. 

IE: "Of course."

IY: "I think we need to help them as much as possible because of how it helps us, how it helps you... how it helps Bezeq. Another thing, let's be careful not to cross any lines... The journalists will come out and talk. I'm telling you now. Yinon Magal. Who published the case against us? The most right wing journalist."

IE: "Because he went to Bennett," Elovich said of the former Walla Editor in Chief and former MK For Naftali Bennett's Bayit Yehudi Party.

IY: "Yinon Magal didn't do it because of Bennet. Yinon Magal, as a journalist, told me 'I like Bibi, but what was that fucker thinking? Why does he overdo it, meddle in everything, why is he hysterical over every little thing?'"

IE: "I want to cover my ass, do you understand that? Do you understand? Did I speak clearly?"

IY:" Listen Iris, I'm with you. You're always getting angry but we need to be careful."

IE: "I'm being careful, I'm being careful."

IY: "These people are dangerous. This could go to other places as well."

IY: "Nir walks around, do you know what he says? 'Ah, Walla is fine, I'm handling it.' That gets to our editors, they lose it."

IE: "If we're not acting properly, he'll take a hit too."

IY: "He's kissing ass too. Exactly."

IE: "The queen mother of asses."

IY: "He gets everything he asks for and do you know what he goes and tells them? Not good. He doesn't write that when he writes to me, I immediately answer that I'm handling it, and tell him it's done an hour later. He doesn't write that."

IE: "I only wrote one thing. That you give me once. That Nir, Boaz, Ran asked for something, wasn't answered right away and to their satisfaction.

IY: "Doesn't matter what you do, they'll fuck you in the end. Can't Shaul straighten up Nir?"

Netanyahu said in a statement in response to the publication of the transcripts on Thursday night, that "After hearing the conversations, it's clear that they are just inside chatter within Walla, that has no connection whatsoever to any action by the Prime Minister in favor of Walla or Bezeq."
Translated by Idan Zonshine.