Reuven Rivlin condemns Netanyahu's call to boycott Channel 12

Netanyahu claimed the leaks had the distinct purpose of impacting the elections, though Judge Melcer seemed to disagree, rejecting his request.

September 1, 2019 13:55
1 minute read.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks at his watch before delivering a statement at the Kn

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks at his watch before delivering a statement at the Knesset, Israel's parliament,. (photo credit: REUTERS)

President Reuven Rivlin looked to be condemning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call to boycott Channel 12 on Sunday afternoon. Netanyahu filed a formal complaint with the Central Elections Committee on Friday against the news group, which has aired embarrassing excerpts of testimony from witnesses in the criminal cases against him this week.

"Do not believe in incitement, in denial," Rivlin said. "Do not listen to the voices which are eager to radicalize the discourse, right or left. Take responsibility for our 'unity' because only this 'unity' is the guarantee of our strength and is the best guarantee of our security."
Excerpts were aired of the testimony of state's witness and former Communications Ministry Director-General Shlomo Filber, which made it look like Netanyahu discouraged reforms that would have lowered the cost of using land-line telephones in order to benefit Shaul Elovitch, who was the owner of the Bezeq group. The channel also aired leaks from the testimony of current Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan about his difficulties in advancing reforms in the same industry when he was minister of communications. 

Netanyahu included Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit in his complaints, because he alleges the leaks came from the State Prosecution and were "illegal leaks that are intended to impact the election." In the complaint, Netanyahu asked the head of the committee, Supreme Court Judge Hanan Melcer, to prevent further leaks.

But Melcer rejected Netanyahu's request saying that he "did not find it correct to issue the requested injunction." 

In a post on Facebook Live on Friday, Netanyahu complained about the leaks and called Channel 12 "Soviet propaganda" and "Gantz TV." Netanyahu gave an award for "fake news" to Channel 12 legal correspondent Guy Peleg.

Yediot Aharonot reported on Friday that Peleg is travelling with a security guard after receiving threats.

In the Facebook Live post, Netanyahu said a poll in the Israel Hayom newspaper that gave Blue and White a two-seat lead over his Likud indicated that there is a "real danger" to the continued rule of the Likud.

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