Former Walla CEO: Elovitches sought negative coverage of Kahlon

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Former Walla CEO Ilan Yeshua says former finance minister Moshe Kahlon was another target for negative coverage by his news site in 2016, at the urging of the outlet’s owners, Shaul and Iris Elovitch.

“They asked that we do a series of negative articles about him. [The Elovitches] didn’t like him, they said they didn’t like him,” Yeshua says during his testimony.

According to the former Walla CEO, the Elovitches referred to Kahlon, who was born to Libyan immigrants, as “the Arab,” “the smiler” and “smiley.”

Backdropped by Jerusalem’s Old City Walls, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) holds a press conference with Moshe Kahlon, January 21, 2013. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

Yeshua says this seems to have been because of Kahlon’s opening of the cellular phone market when he was communications minister in the early 2010s and because of other legislative measures he advanced while in government.