Tapes reveal Netanyahu intervention in communications

Netanyahu’s office downplayed the report, saying it was well known that he has been involved in trying to ensure balance in the communications industry for many years.

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September 3, 2019 04:22
1 minute read.
Communications Minister Ayoub Kara

Communications Minister Ayoub Kara. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Benjamin Netanyahu screamed at his then-communications minister Ayoub Kara and tried to intervene in his ministry in ways the prime minister had been told were not permitted by law, tapes broadcast by Channel 13 indicated on Monday.

The tapes came from the end of 2017, after Netanyahu was warned by the attorney-general not to deal with Channels 12 and 13 and the YES Satellite network. But the recordings indicated that in his conversations with Kara, Netanyahu was very much involved.

Netanyahu urged Kara to cancel the Cable and Satellite Council regulator. He also wanted the law changed so foreign investors could own television channels.

“Ayoub, are you crazy?” Netanyahu screamed at Kara, following a report that he cooperated with Netanyahu’s nemesis, then-justice minister Ayelet Shaked, to save the right-wing Channel 20 and shared credit with her.

Kara cried in the report because he protected the prime minister from illegally intervening in a merger that took place between Channel 10 and the Reshet communications company. He lamented that he faced Netanyahu’s wrath.

“People lied to the prime minister and made me the sacrificial lamb for decisions I didn’t make,” he said.

Netanyahu’s office downplayed the report, saying it was well-known that he has been involved in trying to ensure balance in the communications industry for many years. The prime minister added at an event for Likud mayors in Jerusalem that he was proud of the way he fought for Channel 20 and that everything he did was legal.

But former prime minister Ehud Barak (Democratic Union) said the report proves Netanyahu is “the most corrupt prime minister in Israel’s history.”

 


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