Yeshua believes skewed coverage of Netanyahus was part of quid pro quo

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

Former Walla CEO Ilan Yeshua says he believed that the orders for his website’s skewed coverage of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his family came from the premier directly and were part of a quid pro quo for certain regulatory favors for his employers, the telecommunications tycoons Shaul and Iris Elovitch.

“Shaul, Iris, Nir [Hefetz], Zeev [Rubinstein], Shai Haik” — who allegedly acted as intermediaries between the prime minister’s family and Walla — “made statements or comments that ‘she was happy,’” referring to Sara Netanyahu “or ‘they were pleased,’” Yeshua says, referring to the couple.

Yeshua says there were also cases of the Elovitches explicitly calling for articles critical of the premier to be taken down because of an upcoming regulatory decision and that there was a clear exchange taking place.

“Elovitch would say, ‘take that down, tomorrow he needs to sign off on Yes,’” Yeshua says, referring to a television provider Elovitch owned.