Netanyahu keeps Yedioth ahead for unpublished book – report

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu has been in talks with a publishing house over the release of a new book after failing to repay the advance for previous work that had been set aside, a a newspaper article.

According to the Haaretz daily, the book Netanyahu is discussing with Yedioth Books would include autobiographical details and, with an Israeli release, would also likely be published in English for foreign audiences.

Yedioth Books is a division of the Yedioth Ahronoth Group, whose publisher Arnon Mozes has notoriously acrimonious ties to Netanyahu. Despite their icy relationship, the pair were charged with allegedly attempting to achieve a quid pro quo in which Netanyahu would receive positive media coverage from the daily Yedioth Ahronoth, in return for legislation weakening rival newspaper Israel Hayom.

Both deny wrongdoing in the case, one of many corruption investigations Netanyahu is currently on trial for.

The former prime minister has published books via Yedioth in the past and was on the verge of publishing another which he wrote when he was finance minister from 2003 to 2005 and during a previous stint as as leader of the opposition, before resuming the post of Prime Minister in 2009.

Yedioth Books CEO Dov Eichenwald told investigators in 2017 that the book’s planned publication was frozen upon Netanyahu’s return to the prime minister’s office, attributing the move to not wanting to highlight the policies he he had carried out when he was Minister of Finance.

“He adopted a very harsh and cruel economic policy…. When he was elected prime minister, presenting that in a book… is very uncomfortable, ”Eichenwald said at the time, according to Haaretz.

Dov Eichenwald (Screen capture: YouTube)

Although the book was shelved, Netanyahu never repaid the advance, which Eichenwald estimated at 140,000 shekels ($ 45,000).

“I said to him: ‘You know what, do a biography for us after you finish as prime minister,” Eichenwald reportedly said. “I met him and I said to him, ‘Listen, every Sunday, for about half an hour, write down your impressions.’ “

However, Eichenwald said Netanyahu never formally committed to publishing a biography with Yedioth, which led him to approach David Shimron, the former prime minister’s lawyer and cousin, to reclaim the lead. According to Eichenwald, Shimron told him he would try to find another publisher to purchase the rights to the book, although no buyer was found and the advance was not repaid.

Neither Eichenwald nor Netanyahu responded to the newspaper’s request for comment.

The report also said that in addition to his talks with Yedioth, Netanyahu plans to publish the new book independently. He noted that he could also decide to release the previously shelved book via Yedioth or return the advance.

Arnon (Noni) Mozes arrives for a hearing at the Jerusalem District Court on April 5, 2021 (Oren Ben Hakoon / POOL)

In September, the Walla news site reported that Netanyahu was working on a new book on his tenure and worldview.

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, wrote several books in the 1980s and 1990s.

He has remained active in politics since he lost power when the new government took office in June, and now, as leader of the opposition, he promises to topple the coalition led by Naftali Bennett who spilled.

He also continues to be tried for corruption, which he denies.

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