Here is a sight to behold: B’Hadrei Haredim reporter Yair Levy tweeted the following heartfelt apology on Friday. It’s the kind of apology a journalist posts because otherwise they’ll take away his house and his car:
I apologize to former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett for defaming him by publishing a lie as if he had renovated his private home at the expense of the state, when in fact it was about placing security measures around his home according to the Shin Bet’s requirements. Bennett responded to the Shin Bet’s request not to enter the residence in Balfour due to the need to carry out essential security upgrade work.
אני מתנצל בפני ראש הממשלה לשעבר נפתלי בנט על שהוצאתי את דיבתו בפרסום דבר שקר כאילו שיפץ את ביתו הפרטי על חשבון המדינה, כאשר בפועל מדובר היה בהצבת אמצעי אבטחה סביב ביתו על פי דרישות השב”כ.
בנט נענה לבקשת השב”כ שלא להיכנס למעון בבלפור בשל הצורך לבצע עבודות שידרוג אבטחה חיוניות.> pic.twitter.com/Cs7xv4O81D
— יאיר לוי (@Yair__Levy) December 1, 2022
Remember last year, when the media were full of these accusations, suggesting Bennett was taking advantage of his position to improve his already glamorous home in Ra’anana? Well, he didn’t.
According to Raviv Drucker’s report on News 13, Bennett hired lawyers and investigators, who dug through the Internet in search of slanders against him. Bennett sicked them on those who told the three biggest lies: that he renovated his home with state funds; that he gave NIS 53 billion ($16 billion) to Mansour Abbas; and the suggestion that his mother, Mirna Bennett, is not Jewish.
Bennett sent warning letters to individuals his investigators have dug up, telling them they’re about to be sued for defamation. Bennett is determined to eliminate what he calls the “poison machine,” and plans to donate all the money to the Or Lamishpachot (light for families) charity, founded by Irit Oren Gunders.
So far, Bennett’s attorney Eliram Bakal has filed four defamation lawsuits.
Bennett posted on his Facebook page following Levy’s somewhat frightened apology: “The truth comes out. As prime minister, I refrained from engaging in slander because I thought it was my job to absorb, but I understand now that there is no choice: the issue is not Bennett but the future of our country and its very existence. We must turn off the poison machines that contaminate all of our lives. I will donate the entire amount to the Or association for the families of IDF martyrs. More libel spreaders are now being sued, and it will continue from now on. I will not be silent anymore. we are brothers.”
Meanwhile, Ayala Hasson, the reporter that first reported on the construction costs is standing her ground and has not yet been sued.
אילה חסון ל@fathizimri: "הסיפור שלי הוא מאה אחוז נכון. אם יש עיתונאים שטוענים שהעלות של הסיפור היתה 15 מיליון הם מרמים במצח נחושה, או מתוך בורות או מתוך נוכלות. כל העלויות של האירוע הגרנדיוזי הזה הן בגלל שלא שיפצו את בלפור והפכו את רעננה למעון רשמי. בנט הוא זה שבחר להישאר ברעננה"
— גלי ישראל (@IsraelGaley) December 5, 2022