Parts of the testimony of Miriam Adelson in the so-called “Case 2000” were published by Channel 12 News on Thursday evening.
Adelson is the wife of Sheldon Adelson, owner of the Israel Hayom newspaper.
Case 2000 revolves around allegations that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tried to reach an agreement with Yediot Aharonot publisher Noni Mozes that would provide him with positive news coverage in exchange for shuttering Israel Hayom, which is Yediot Aharonot’s chief competitor.
In her testimony, Adelson recalls how Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, would scream at her because of things they didn't like about the coverage in the newspaper she owns, and also discusses requests made by the two over the way they were covered.
Adelson: At first, she (Sara Netanyahu) was very nice. Impressive. An intelligent woman. Then I don't know what happened, ask her what she expected of us. But slowly...only complaints appeared. Her picture was too small. They didn’t write something, she visited some children with cancer or something...constantly complaining. All the time...and it was starting to become unpleasant. We would listen, we would hear and not respond. Hear and not respond.
Investigator: What, out of respect for what...
Adelson: Out of respect for the Prime Minister and his wife...
Investigator: And did he (the Prime Minister) also complain?
Adelson: Of course...that Amos (Regev, former editor of Israel Hayom) is weak...She didn't like Amos. She didn't like Amos at all.
Investigator: What did Netanyahu respond to? What did he want from you? What did he complain about?
Adelson: That we're not defending him. Everyone is attacking...the rest of the press slanders him. One after the other, especially before the elections.
Investigator: And what did he want you to do?
Adelson: I don't know. Every time they found something else that was wrong, that we were wrong. They are spilling my blood, she said.
Investigator: How did you spill her blood?
Adelson: We didn’t defend her on something. She already told me once that if Iran obtains nuclear weapons and Israel will be wiped out that it will be my fault because I did not protect Bibi.
Investigator: And that didn’t anger you?
Adelson: I got tired of hearing this and that was it. And we're not coming to them anymore. We're tired of hearing it…Listen, from the honored Prime Minister I would get screaming phone calls in the United States. When they would scream, I would hear a loud voice, I would just lower the phone, you hear the screams anyway. When the screams calmed down, it could be between five and ten minutes, then I would pick up the phone again. I would not listen to the screaming, okay? It was not pleasant. But out of respect for the Prime Minister, and most of it came from her direction, but out of respect for the Prime Minister, I just did not respond, I did not answer."
Investigator: And were there things they demanded of you and you answered their demands regarding Israel Hayom?
Adelson: One time I remember saying to Amos (Regev), 'Come on, Amos, just publish some picture of her so she will leave [the Prime Minister] alone.' I thought she was not letting [the Prime Minister] concentrate on his work with all her nonsense. So once I told Amos, ‘Come on, publish the picture so she leaves him alone and he can function.’ Now there are problems with Iran, because he cannot function because she is nagging him all day.