An Israeli soldier reads Yediot Aharonot.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Ron Yaron, the editor-in-chief of Yediot Aharonot, argued in a front-page column on Sunday that employees of the newspaper would not have stood for a deal between the paper's publisher and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to skew the paper towards favorable coverage of the premier.
“There's no way that this newspaper would have survived this earthquake,” Yaron said in his column referring to remarks in the leaked conversation where Mozes said skewing the coverage would cause an “earthquake.”
“We all, as one, would leave and seek another home,” Yaron said. Yaron continued saying that the Yediot
staff place their loyalties to the readers, “and only after that to those who pay our salaries.” Yaron also defended Mozes saying the publisher is “endlessly loyal to the readers of this paper, and to his life’s work that his father and grandfather established 77 years ago.”
This came as Channel 2 leaked transcripts Saturday night which feature Mozes allegedly offering Netanyahu the ability to pick and choose journalists of his liking.
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.
Mozes was questioned for a second time on Sunday regarding the police investigation into the conversation, termed Case 2000, while the prime minister will be questioned for a third time by police sometime this week.
The prime minister has repeatedly denied wrongdoing in the ongoing criminal investigation Netanyahu was questioned under caution for a total of eight hours in two sessions on January 2 and 5 regarding Case 2000 and in the separate Case 1000, which deals with Netanyahu allegedly receiving illegal gifts from Israeli billionaire Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer.