Jackob Nimrodi is opening a new front against the Mozes family, which may lead to a resumption of the battle between his paper, Maariv, and Yedioth Ahronoth. In Nimrodi's new book, "Irangate: A Hope Shattered," published by Ma'ariv Publishing, he offers his version of the affair that took place almost two decades ago, but the book also serves as a platform for settling accounts.
As one who had been involved, together with his son, Ofer, in power struggles with the Mozes family, the owners of Yedioth Ahronoth, which resulted in court convictions for both father and son, Jackob Nimrodi could have been expected to steer clear of disagreements and confrontations.
The father was convicted of harassing a witness among other charges. Both father and son were convicted of charges relating to their commercial espionage war against Yedioth Aharonoth.
Despite his considerable wealth and his interesting and exciting life, he feels today, at the age of 78, that an injustice was done to him. "They made me into a liar and a thief and the book is meant to remove this stain from me," Nimrodi says in an interview.
In this book, Nimrodi attacks the late Amiram Nir, Judy Shalom Nir Mozes and her brother Arnon (Noni) Mozes, who is now the publisher of Yedioth Ahronoth, and accuses them of colluding to besmirch his name and frame him, among other things, for the supposed theft of money he received in the mediation deal. He also settles accounts with Ido Dissentshik, the former editor-in-chief of Maariv, whom he dismissed from his post.
The Irangate affair started in 1985: the Israeli government gave Nimrodi responsibility for a clandestine arms sale to the theocractic government in Iran, whose army found itself in dire straits in its war against Iraq.
The arms sale was done with the approval of the United States, which hoped in this way to obtain the release of the American hostages kidnapped in Lebanon by Hezbollah. The profit from the deal was intended to enable the administration of President Ronald Reagan, without the knowledge of the U.S. Congress, to finance the Contra rebels fight against the radical Sandinista regime in Nicaragua.
Nimrodi and his partner in the deal, Al Schwimmer (a former director-general of Israel Aircraft Industries) worked on it for about seven months until the political echelon decided to drop them and transferred responsibility for arranging the contacts and arms sale to Amiram Nir, who was the prime minister's adviser on counterterrorism.
Nir, a former journalist and university researcher, was married to Judy Mozes, currently the wife of Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom.
The book writes of Amiram Nir's marriage to Judy Mozes: "The marriage surprised Nir's friends. They did not understand what common background the two had - the researcher at the Center for Strategic Studies and the young woman whose name regularly appeared in the social and gossip columns in the press."
According to Nimrodi, the Mozes family - and especially Judy and Noni - are an inseparable part of the campaign against him.
"After the death of Amiram Nir [who died in a 1988 plane crash in Mexico after leaving his post as the prime minister's adviser on counterterrorism - Y.M.], his widow, Judy Mozes, declared war on me." Of Noni Mozes, he writes: "He conducted the battle against me."
Nimrodi relates that he tried in 1986 to get Maariv to publish his version, in order to counter the reports against him in Yedioth Ahronoth. Dissentshik, according to Nimrodi, refused to print his version:
"I got out of my chair and angrily said: `I promise you one thing. The day will come when I buy this paper. Maariv will belong to the Nimrodi family and the first thing I will do is come into your office and inform you that you have five minutes to leave the building."
Five years later that indeed happened.
"It was one of the sweetest moments of my life - the moment when I notified my son, Ofer, to tell Ido Dissentshik that he was `out' of the paper," writes Nimrodi.
Why are you again waging war against Yedioth Ahronoth?
Nimrodi: "I'm not waging a war. I only want to remove the stain that has clung to me of being an erstwhile thief.
"I acted honestly and if it weren't for Nir and his people, who at the time colluded against me, my vision would have become a reality.
"That is the truth; it's all verified and documented. It is not my intention, but if the book prompts a renewed battle with the Mozes family, that's all right."
Judy Shalom Nir Mozes and Noni Mozes declined to comment on Nimrodi's charges.
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