Israel Election: Netanyahu Denied It, but Evidence Proves He Spoke to Rabbi Who Recorded Gantz Adviser Blasting Him

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Benjamin Netanyahu at a campaign meeting, Airport City, Israel, March 1, 2020.
Benjamin Netanyahu at a campaign meeting, Airport City, Israel, March 1, 2020.Credit: Motti Milrod
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Haaretz

Rabbi Guy Habura, who recorded Benny Gantz's campaign adviser calling the former army chief a "danger to the people of Israel," was heard discussing the recording with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a day before it was leaked, Channel 12 News' Ilana Dayan reported Sunday — hours before the country heads to its third election in one year. 

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A cut-off audio snippet, in which the premier's voice can be heard, includes a conference call between him and a group of people during which the rabbi addresses the prime minister. Netanyahu has denied in recent days that he had any contact with the rabbi before the latter recorded Gantz

"Prime minister, we'll do it," a different speaker is heard saying in the recording of the talk between the rabbi and Netanyahu. The interlocutor is also heard promising Netanyahu that the voice of Yisrael Bachar, the political strategist for the Kahol Lavan leader, will not be blurred: "Of course Yisrael has to be heard, okay, of course."

Gantz fired Bachar right after the recording was made public on Thursday, also on Channel 12. The adviser, who previously worked for Likud and the right-wing alliance Yamina before joining Kahol Lavan as soon as it was formed, was also recorded attacking Gantz's intelligence. 

"She [Knesset member Omer Yankelevich of Kahol Lavan] says that he's stupid and a total loser and that he shouldn't be prime minister," Bachar said in the conversation. Yankelevich later refuted having made such statements. 

Both Gantz and Bachar publicly blasted the original leak as political manipulation. “This is part of a campaign of fraud and attempted deceit, which reached new heights of disgrace," Bachar said in a statement following his dismissal. The Kahol Lavan leader said he would seek remedy through legal action.

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