Netanyahu slams media for ‘unprecedented’ campaign to unseat him

Netanyahu took to Facebook in an attempt to ward off corruption claims that have received media attention.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assailed the Israeli media for an “unprecedented” campaign to bring down his government through the “extensive” publication of stories alleging he is corrupt.

He posted on Facebook on Sunday a comprehensive message in an effort to refute repeated reports by the media on the meetings that took place between him and Yedioth Ahronoth publisher Noni Mozes, during which the two allegedly offered to exchange favors.

“In recent days, an orchestrated media campaign has been conducted, unprecedented in its extensiveness, in order to bring down the Likud government under my leadership. This propaganda campaign is intended to exert pressure on the attorney general and other officials in the state attorney’s office to submit an indictment against me,” Netanyahu charged.

“The method is simple: day after day and evening after evening, carefully selected and filtered transcripts and deliberate lies on two issues at hand are disseminated. Obviously, as long as the investigation continues, I have no way of defending myself. I cannot tell the public the real story behind these issues, that clarify that there was no wrongdoing,” the post continued.

Netanyahu did however relate to two points relevant to the investigation, the first being that he opposed the Israel Hayom Law throughout the years. The law was meant to shut down the Israel Hayom daily publication, a main competitor of Yedioth Ahronoth’s . Netanyahu contends that this negates claims made by the media that he intended to support the law in exchange for favorable coverage from Yedioth Ahronoth.

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Netanyahu also pointed to the fact that he brought down his own government over the Israel Hayom Law, and when he established a new one he ensured that the law would not be resubmitted by his new coalition. Netanyahu intended this point as a refutation of reports of collusion between himself and Mozes.

Second, Netanyahu pointed out that Yedioth never altered its coverage of his government.

“Therefore – nothing has happened,” he wrote. ”Israel Hayom is still in business and is thriving. However, the bad press I have been receiving from Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth did not cease for a moment.”

“Thus – the claims that I worked to promote the Israel Hayom Law are baseless,” he concluded.

Israeli media has been reporting for over a week that Netanyahu and Mozes made a pact in which Netanyahu proposed to use his power to curb the power of Yedioth’s main rival, Israel Hayom, through the passage of a law favoring Yedioth, in return for Yedioth’s reduction of negative coverage of Netanyahu’s Likud government.

Netanyahu has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and calls the allegations a witch hunt by a ‘hostile media’ against him and his family.

Both Netanyahu  and Mozes have been questioned by police in connection with the alleged pact, which is being investigated as a possible case of bribery.

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Netanyahu is currently under investigation for other corruption related cases as well.

By: Aryeh savir, World Israel News