Meretz MK: Why is Netanyahu still communications minister?

Police are expected to question Netanyahu this week for a third time regarding the case.

By
January 15, 2017 13:42
1 minute read.
Zahava Gal-On

Zahava Gal-On. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The attorney-general must remove the prime minister from his position as communications minister, Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On wrote on Facebook on Sunday.

“The attorney-general has been listening for months now to tapes that proves that the prime minister is a major player in the Israeli communications market,” Zehava Gal-On wrote, referring to the revelations of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conversations with Yediot Aharonot publisher Arnon “Noni” Mozes.

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“Not only that this prime minister is not being sent immediately to the investigations room, [Attorney-General Avichai] Mandelblit is allowing him to proceed as the communications minister. Is he being serious? “There is a prime minister who was recorded negotiating on the future of Israel Hayom and who was documented when he tries to determine which reporters will appear in Yediot Aharonot and how the coverage of the paper will look. If there is something that should be obvious, even to Mandelblit, it is that this man cannot be in charge of the media. It is elementary.”

Over the weekend, Channel 2 released parts of a 2014 conversation in which Netanyahu allegedly conspired with Yediot publisher Mozes to weaken rival paper Israel Hayom in exchange for favorable coverage of the prime minister.

Police are expected to question Netanyahu regarding the case this week for a third time.

According to the transcripts, Netanyahu sought journalists who would cover him in a good light, as well as an agreement with Israel Hayom’s owner, billionaire Sheldon Adelson, over weakening his paper. In 2014, Netanyahu told Mozes to recruit journalists who would “lower their level of hostility toward him from 9.5 to 7.5,” to which Mozes responded, “I get it. Don’t worry about it – we need to ensure that you will be prime minister,” according to the report.

Gal-On said Mandelblit has been hiding this story for months.

“And at the same time, the prime minister is making major changes in the communications market: Closing the new broadcasting authority, getting involved in Channel 10 and trying to create an obedient media here,” Gal-On wrote. “This is madness.”

The country’s gatekeepers became Netanyahu’s private gatekeepers, she said. “Netanyahu should go, and he should take the attorney-general with him.”

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.


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