Former Netanyahu aide Nir Hefetz told Walla News how to cover Mrs. Netanyahu, as well as whom to hire, according to newly leaked correspondence from his phone, according to Channel 13.
Hefetz, currently a key state witness against the prime minister in Case 4000, allegations that he traded large financial benefits for more favorable news coverage, guided Walla’s Ilan Yeshua in handling of transcripts from Sara Netanyahu’s criminal cases.
“We didn’t publish anything on the transcripts. What do you prefer? That we not publish anything? Or that we publish the transcripts with the denial displayed prominently?” writes Yeshua.
Hefetz tells him to wait to write the story around the prime minister’s upcoming complaint letter to the attorney general about leaks. Subsequently, Yeshua changed the headline at Hefetz’s behest.
“Fixed and I’ve also switched to a better photo,” replies Yeshua. “If there are any other problems, speak to me directly.”
Yeshua also asked for the Netanyahus’ approval of the hiring of reporter Almog Boker for the position of the site’s political correspondent, according to Channel 13. Hefetz pushed for a different journalist to be hired, and Boker was eventually not hired.
In another exchange, Hefetz asked Yeshua to remove an item that displeased Netanyahu’s son Yair.
“You know I help any way I can,” Yeshua responds, “but what you’ve just asked for will cause immediate and colossal damage.”
Hefetz responded: “I didn’t ask for anything. I typed what was dictated to me.”
On Election Day in March 2015, Hefetz conveyed the prime minister’s approval of a Walla story: “I showed Bibi [Netanyahu] the main headline. He’s thrilled.”
“The video you asked for is the main headline,” writes Yeshua, referring to Netanyahu’s now infamous “the Arabs are voting in droves” clip, for which the prime minister later apologized.
The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing in all the corruption cases against him, and insisted there was no such quid pro quo with Walla.