Yeshua: Requests to change coverage eventually came directly from PM’s office

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

Ilan Yeshua, the former CEO of the Walla news site, says initially he would receive directives from his employer, Shaul Elovitch, about the types of stories that he should place prominently on the website and which he should take down as part of an alleged arrangement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but eventually he got those orders from the premier’s office directly.

“There were two directives: Take down articles that were negative [about the Netanyahus] and put up articles that were positive,” Yeshua says.

“I would get it from Nir [Hefetz] and then get it a minute later from Shaul [Elovitch]. It became clear to me that I had to do what [Hefetz] asked me to,” he says, noting that he eventually stopped waiting for the order from Elovitch.

“I would know what to do,” Yeshua says.

Former Walla editor Ilan Yeshua enters a courtroom at the Jerusalem District Court for a hearing in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial, April 5, 2021. (Oren Ben Hakoon/Pool)

The former Walla CEO recalls that Hefetz, who is a state’s witness in the case, was referred to as the “Rottweiler.”