Haredi journalist sheds light on Netanyahu slander scandal

The scandal on the episode involved Ariel Roth, one of the prime minister's defense attorneys, who was reportedly recorded conspiring against Netanyahu in a meeting.

Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Benny Gantz and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seen during a vote at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on August 24, 2020. (photo credit: OREN BEN HAKOON/FLASH90)
Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Benny Gantz and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seen during a vote at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on August 24, 2020.
(photo credit: OREN BEN HAKOON/FLASH90)
Ultra-Orthodox journalist Menachem Geshide spoke out about the political scandal featured on the Uvda (Fact) TV show, in an Israel Hayom op-ed.
The scandal on the episode involved Ariel Roth, one of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's defense attorneys, who was reportedly recorded conspiring against Netanyahu in a meeting with a businesswoman – later identified as Orit Greenberg, according to Haaretz – in which they discussed a deal regarding selling kosher meat in Israel. 
Greenberg is the businesswoman who collaborated with Uvda, the goal being to record someone close to Netanyahu's judges speaking and conspiring against him.  
Geshide, who was present at the meeting and is therefore also at the heart of the conflict, set the facts straight from his point of view.
"It is amazing to see how people are quick to judge without letting the defendants express their position," began Geshide. "They were ready to hang Ariel Roth in the town square, here and now. Investigation, suspension from the attorney's office, and what not. Likewise, I also found myself facing false accusations and slander."
Geshide wrote that he took the time to put his thoughts in order before responding to the accusations, and outlined his truth, which he felt did not align with what the episode portrayed.
First, he wrote that Roth "did not conspire or plot any conspiracy against Netanyahu's judges, nor against some of them and/or any of their family members. Unequivocally."
He went on to state that Greenberg, who met with Geshide and Roth for a meeting that supposedly dealt with the option of importing kosher meat to Israel, led the two of them astray. He claimed that "ambiguous words were inserted into Roth's mouth" and in retrospect, it's obvious that "there was much interest in creating the impression that Roth was plotting against judges."
After the fact, Geshide discovered that Greenberg was focused on a specific goal, and the meeting had nothing to do with selling meat at all. Geshide claimed that she "repeatedly spoke about how much she wanted to help Netanyahu, and told them about mutual acquaintances she had with the prime minister" in order to maneuver them into a "media trap in the name of truth and righteousness."
Geshide then delved into the story behind the accusation. Apparently, it had become known that a family member of one of the judges was speaking against the prime minister in random conversations, blaming him for public or government corruption. The journalist reported that rumors have been circulating that there are those who want to record the same family member saying negative things about Netanyahu.
He argued that if someone is recording, they will aim "to entice someone to confess to a crime" that they may not have committed.
Geshide admitted that Roth unfortunately did engage in speaking "nonsense and bragging" – but ultimately, Greenberg was unable to "squeeze a clear confession from him."
Geshide regrets failing in the face of gossip "as a believing Jew." He claims it would have been better to maintain a sense of ambiguity around the situation, but that he could not just stand by "in the face of Roth's bloodshed."
Other than standing by Roth, Geshide has "no intention of continuing to engage in this matter."
He concluded his piece for Israel Hayom by asserting that "the facts are different from what is portrayed in Uvda.