Netanyahu trial: Nir Hefetz testifies dramatically about the former prime minister’s involvement in Walla Walla

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Former Benjamin Netanyahu’s media adviser, Nir Hefetz, continues this morning (Wednesday) his testimony at the Netanyahu trial. In his testimony, Hefetz testifies about his time with Netanyahu and his relationship with Bezeq CEO Shaul Elowitz and the Walla website. Today, Hefetz is expected to testify about specific coverage requirements from Netanyahu.

At the opening of the hearing, the prosecution submitted to the court a file of Hefetz’s correspondence with former Walla! Marks what was sent only to Walla! ” Hefetz emphasized at the beginning of his testimony that “the file should be taken with a limited guarantee, it is not an absolute thing.” Tabenkin replied, “There are places in the file with handwriting.”

ongoing updates:

12:50: Hefetz insisted during his testimony that he never intentionally recorded former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “I recorded various sources, I did not record Prime Minister Netanyahu. I thought it was wrong to record someone in this institution. If I recorded it, it was inadvertently in other matters.”

12:25: Tabenkin asked Hefetz how much influence Netanyahu’s name had on the certainty that the article would appear on a website. Hefetz replied: “If I write to Elowitz that this is Benjamin Netanyahu’s request, I know it will certainly come in. Also on Channel 20 and 0404, if I say that this is Netanyahu’s request, there is a good chance that it will come in. In the rest of the media, the chances are very low.

11:30: The state witness describes step by step the election day, and how Netanyahu’s famous video was produced: “From 10 a.m., this is Netanyahu’s main person. Next to him then I hear the conversations. We passed city by city, we were supposed to get to Be’er Sheva, but his mood was very bad, nervous. “Good and sends to Pilber. After 20 minutes, they receive a message that 700,000 people received the video, all in the Likud strongholds. After that, it rose to 1.4 million.”

“How did you perceive the importance of Walla?”, Asked Hefetz, who replied that “they were more media.” Tabenkin: “You said in the investigation – on election day, media outlets like Channel 2 and 10 are not allowed to broadcast. Therefore, advertising on Walla, a large website with a very large circulation and no regulatory supervision, is a very important thing.” Object: “It’s true and logical, but I do not remember saying it, but it is accurate.” Tabenkin: “Then you said ‘Besides, none of the friendly sites came close to Walla’s distribution and I emphasized the importance.” Object: “It’s true.”

Nir Hefetz on the second day of his testimony (Photo: Reuven Castro, Walla!)

An exchange of messages between Elowitz and Yeshua Lefetz and Netanyahu from election day is presented. Yeshua Laelovich: “Ask Nir what title he wants. Netanyahu: We must close the gap”? “. Hefetz: “Unequivocally yes. I arrived in Balfour early in the morning, I accompanied them to the polls and not from Netanyahu until eight in the evening when I went down to the exhibition grounds, I am the person who accompanied him all day, I was with him all the time.”

The lawsuit presents an interview conducted by Anat Waxman with Rina Matzliach, an interview to which the Likud’s response was required. Hefetz: “Netanyahu’s full involvement in the drafting. It’s a seizure of opportunity, someone from the other camp made a mistake, it’s amusing. Taking advantage of an opportunity that Netanyahu is personally managing. “Director from a thousand to a character.”

Hefetz: “These messages are formulated with me by phone, I’m on the phone, doing a draft, talking to his wife as well, preparing a message and sending, and then starting to fix, at what stage does media man Yonatan Orich come into the picture, more and more it moved to him to prepare the texts, he does the same “Method, at this stage after the election, it’s sure I’m.”

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Correspondence from March 26 is on display. Elovich: “Can you publish? Is it from Nir Hefetz,” with a text attached to the text of “Our dear Sarah” and Netanyahu and Sarah at the Western Wall. Hefetz: “Full wording of Netanyahu. I was with them at the Western Wall as well, I was the perpetrator.”

11:00: Hefetz describes Netanyahu’s interview with Dov Gil-Har before the 2015 elections and explains what happened behind the scenes: “He interrupted him endlessly, Netanyahu exploded, burned, and then started a real demon dance. “Elections and people on the edge anyway. It does not indicate a trait. He demanded that the interview be eunuch, he did not want it to be published. His anger was completely justified, there was an explicit commitment that was not fulfilled. He just wanted him to complete a trial.”

The prosecution asks an object to describe what happens when they convey a message that they want in the title of the site over time. Hefetz replies: “This is not an idea that came from me, this is an unusual request. It reflects how phenomenal Netanyahu’s understanding of the media is. He knows what an hour it is in terms of the Internet, that for so long a headline will remain unchanged. The prosecutor wants to know to whom the request was distributed and when Hefetz replies that everyone, the prosecution quotes Hefetz’s words from the interrogation: Hefetz: “I do not remember at the moment, but he always told me to talk to Shaul.”

Salvation replied to the object: “Do not drop me.” According to Hefetz, “This is an ethically red line, to confirm with a politician a title for an interview. Yeshua knew he had committed a serious act, he was afraid that people in society knew what he was doing. “Not friendly media either. It undermines the foundation on which the media is built.”

The prosecution even presented a correspondence between Elowitz and Yeshua that dealt with the interview in question, according to which “Nir will call you. They want a caressing and pampering interview with a fan interviewer.” Hefetz explained: “Caressing and pampering are not my words, what is unusual is that in advance an agent will not raise the issue of bottles and the cost of housing.”

10:20: The prosecution is now moving to present correspondence from February 23, 2015, when Walla was required to publish an article on a complaint filed against Manny Naftali, the head of the former prime minister’s residence. According to the lawsuit, “Netanyahu was involved in the demand. The demand was conveyed through an object for salvation and was treated with his involvement in accordance with the general instruction he received from the Elowitz couple‘. The demand was met. “In order to confirm this, a message is presented from Nir Hefetz to Ilan Yeshua:” Attorney Efi Damari representing a person who filed a complaint against Mani Naftali in the Afula police called him. “Yeshua replied:” I gave it to Omri Nachmias. “

In addition, Hefetz told of a complaint he sent from Netanyahu to Walla, about the coverage of a demonstration against him on March 7, 2015: “This is his complaint about Walla! Transmitting a counter-demonstration to a right-wing demonstration.” Tabenkin: “Do you remember if you transferred the grievance to other sites as well?”, Hefetz replied: “Not at the moment”. The message sent by Hefetz reads: “Live broadcast from the square ???? You have a live broadcast of a demonstration, just not Bibi, which is propaganda, not even in our studio“. According to the lawsuit, the demand was transferred from Netanyahu to Elowitz and an object for salvation, the demand was addressed with the involvement of the Elowitz couple.

Yeshua explained to Hefetz about the rally in his own message: “Explain to your boss too, because Shaul was raging about me now and I explain to him what you already know – for supporting news you have to maintain credibility. You can not fail to broadcast a news event, agree “What I did. You can balance with reactions, work on it with your Shay Chaik and in the end I put on a live broadcast segment in front of everyone, right now.”

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Hefetz stressed that Netanyahu was preoccupied with the rally because “three days earlier the left-wing rally had been broadcast and he had not. It was his big personal. It is not that Netanyahu told me to tell Elowitz and Yeshua to violate the Election Commission. ” He even stressed that he himself knew Netanyahu on the subject of live broadcasting: Netanyahu is my boss, when there is success I want to know him. The right-wing rally was a turning point. That was it, along with the video of the Arabs flocking and the speech in both houses of Congress were events that were perceived by us as events that decided the election campaign. “

10:00: In one of the messages, Hefetz wrote to Yeshua: “An item that is very important to my friend Hagai Adoram is supposed to come up. It deals with the standard for inspecting dormitories by the State Comptroller.” Hefetz testifies that “In the case of Netanyahu, this is a unique item for Yeshua Valowitz. De facto there is no chance it does not come up on a defects site. Netanyahu’s preoccupation with this was absolute, many dozens of hours designing items in Balfour with an erasable board he wrote down, Sat at the computer with presentations. That’s all. Walla’s response to the dormitory report was total, in the sense that we, the Likud headquarters, determined what the items would be. “Everything we asked for was done to the end without reservation.”

At this point, attorney Jacques Chen expresses opposition to the testimony, and an object emerges from the courtroom. According to Jacques, the objection is that “the witness in his answers, who did not speak to the police, adds in the interview now ‘complete response'”.

Hefetz continues: “His appearance in the houses of Congress was also important to him, dealing with this issue, these are two issues that have a tremendous strategic impact in the elections.
Manny Naftali distracted the agenda from the political place where he was comfortable being. To areas of the family, moral purity, waste, hedonism, which is not a good area to be in the last few days, and we have been dealing with it. More than 20 MKs came to Balfour to be briefed. “Benjamin Netanyahu prepared the presentations for us, we told them what to say and we drove them crazy, that was the thing.”

In addition, an event from February 2015 is presented, when there is a demand for the publication of letters of support from the employees of the Prime Minister’s Residence. According to the lawsuit, “Netanyahu was involved in the demand. It was transferred through an object to salvation.” There is also a message from an object of salvation, in which he is handed over to him: “I am sending you two letters signed by former Balfour employees. We would be happy if the system would consider making it a big story of course according to your journalistic editorial considerations.”

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Advocate Chen: “Precisely in Walla these letters were not published, it is for example an event that with all due respect to my friends, has no investigative skills, events most of which were not investigated and did not provide a version to the police. This is an example, not the most acute, not the only one, there will be more, I said once, without a vow, sitting down and not saying during the day “..

09:40: The lawsuit presents a message sent from Shaul Elowitz to Ilan Yeshua, which reads “I received a special request. Yeshua replied to Elowitz: “Treated, including in front of Nir.”

Correspondence between Hefetz and Yeshua is then presented, when the media adviser asked in October 2015 to bring up an article dealing with criticism from the ZOA (American Zionist Organization) about all the organizations that pressured Netanyahu to cancel his planned speech to the US Congress. Salvation replied that they would ascend. Hefetz also referred to the fact that there is “difficulty in bringing such items into the Israeli media.”

In addition, all of Yeshua and Shaul Elowitz’s correspondence produced from Yeshua’s cellular device were submitted to the court. According to the prosecution, these are the same correspondences that were presented to the object during his interrogation.

At yesterday’s hearing, a number of incidents were recorded, during which the judges criticized the prosecution’s line of inquiry, while the state witness told how Netanyahu’s family members, his wife Sarah and son Yair, were stressed when they heard about the possibility of investigating the family with the Elowitz couple and even sent him to verify Because the couple deleted the correspondence between the parties from their cellular devices.

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During the long hours of discussion, Hefetz repeatedly focused on the relationship between Netanyahu the father and his son, which even influenced his work as the former prime minister’s communications adviser, following Yair’s dissatisfaction with the Walla website and the Elowitz couple: “It was in his discourse all the time. There was an argument between us that included his parents, that he was trying to say that Walla was wrong and not giving anything in return for what they were getting.“I said Elowitz goes out of his way and does his best.”

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Hefetz described two incidents, which testify to the conduct as he presented it: “I was sitting in the study in Balfour. “It was no exception for Yair. Sarah Netanyahu was also present at the second incident and she even remarked to him that they do not talk like that. Benjamin Netanyahu did not respond to Yair at all, he was silent.”

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