Likud: Probe Ties Between Ashkenazi and Yediot Publisher

YERUSHALAYIM -
Former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Likud has filed a complaint with the State Prosecutor’s Office demanding that an investigation be conducted into the ties between former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, number four on the Blue and White list, and Noni Mozes, publisher of Yediot Acharonot. According to the complaint, Ashkenazi banned the Yisrael Hayom newspaper from IDF bases during his tenure – essentially inserting himself into the commercial dispute between the two newspapers.

The complaint was filed after Channel 13 revealed tapes and documents from the investigation surrounding the Harpaz affair, in which Boaz Harpaz, a former IDF officer who was a close friend and confidante to Ashkenazi, was indicted for forgery over allegations that he produced a document that allegedly indicated a plot in which several IDF officials were accused of using false pretenses to besmirch former Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in connection with the appointment of a successor for Ashkenazi.

According to the materials broadcast on Channel 13, it emerged that Ashkenazi and Mozes had a very close relationship, and in the wake of the intense investigation by State Attorney Avichai Mandelblit into connections between Binyamin Netanyahu and Mozes “in a deal which never existed” to ban Yisrael Hayom in exchange for better coverage for the Prime Minister, the Likud complaint said, it was only fair that ties between Mozes and Ashkenazi be investigated to determine if there were any mutual promises and benefits.

According to the documents and recordings that were broadcast on Channel 13, an intense investigation was conducted against Ashkenazi for his role in the Harpaz affair, with his actions bordering on “criminal,” the Likud said. During his questioning, the tapes revealed, Ashkenazi had a “relationship” with Mozes. Among the possible criminal activity, the Likud said, was Ashkenazi’s making a deal with Mozes to ban Yisrael Hayom in exchange for his help in extending his tenure as Chief of Staff, despite Barak’s opposition.