Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid met frequently with Yedioth Ahronoth publisher and owner Arnon “Noni” Mozes while serving as finance minister in the government, Channel 10 news reported Friday.
According to the report, the meetings were held on Friday mornings at the home of a businessman who lived near Mozes in the upscale town of Savyon.
While Lapid held publicly documented meetings with many journalists, his meetings with Mozes were not reported.
Following Channel 10’s report, Yesh Atid acknowledged that Lapid had met with Mozes, but dismissed the notion that such meetings were out of the ordinary.
“In the course of his tenure, Yair Lapid met with editors and publishers of the major media outlets in Israel, including Mozes, Sheldon and Miri Adelson, Ron Lauder, Eli Azur, and others, as do all the senior politicians in Israel,” a statement issued by the Yesh Atid party read.
Lapid served as finance minister between 2013 and 2015.
Before establishing the Yesh Atid party and joining politics, Lapid worked as a contributor at Yedioth Ahronoth.
Mozes was investigated by police in Case 2000, which examined an alleged clandestine quid-pro-quo deal he discussed with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which the Israeli leader was said to have promised Mozes he would hobble Yedioth’s main commercial rival, the freebie Israel Hayom, in exchange for friendlier coverage from Yedioth. No such deal was ever implemented.
Police have recommended indicting both Mozes and Netanyahu, who deny any wrongdoing, on bribery charges. The case is currently being considered by prosecutors.