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The "Bezeq-Walla! Affair," or Case 4000 as it’s been dubbed by Israeli media, is one of three corruption cases facing Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It’s also the most serious in that everyone, including the prime minister, believes that it will lead to an indictment in the coming weeks—an X factor that could prove fatal to Likud Party hopes in the April 9 elections.
In exchange, Netanyahu and his family would receive favorable news coverage from Walla!, a news site Bezeq owned.
Things - Merger - Bezeq-Yes - Book - Head
But the closer one looks, the less things add up. According to all those involved, the merger of Bezeq-Yes was done by the book. The head of Israel’s Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council, Dr. Yifat Ben Hai Segev, who served in the position from 2014-2018, said "There wasn’t any pressure from the side of Netanyahu’s people to approve the merger."
Orly Yehezkel, a current member of the council, told Israel’s Channel 20, "The discussions were professional discussions. The people were professional people. … We received all the material. We sat there hours. Paragraph after paragraph. Paragraph after paragraph. No one influenced us. No one turned to us. No one requested anything from us."
Council - Merger
The 17-member council voted unanimously to approve the merger.
Israel’s Antitrust Authority also signed off on the deal in March 2014. Indeed, at that point, the merger had been under discussion for six years already. Judges at the Antitrust Authority debated the matter in depth twice in 2009, after a preliminary approval by that body in 2008. This was prior to Netanyahu even reassuming the position of prime minister.
Antitrust - Authority - Judges - Matter - Police
It’s not clear if the Antitrust Authority judges who debated the matter were interviewed by the police, but it’s unlikely given that investigators didn’t bother gathering evidence from any of the cable and satellite council members, or the head of the Antitrust...
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