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'JPost editor forbids mentioning corruption allegations against Jerusalem mayoral candidate'

According to Seventh Eye, Steve Linde told senior journalists at the Jerusalem Post that on the order of the publisher, allegations involving Moshe Leon should not be discussed in reports of the Jerusalem municipal race. Leon’s candidacy is backed by Avigdor Lieberman.

Why did the Jerusalem Post‘s Editor-in-Chief, Steve Linde, instruct his writers not to report on Moshe Leon’s alleged involvement in corruption cases in the 90s? According to a report on the media watch site the Seventh Eye, Linde sent the paper’s senior writers an email informing them that Eli Azur, the Post’s publisher “doesn’t want the corruption allegations to be mentioned in Leon’s case.”

Moshe Leon was chief of staff and economic adviser during Benjamin Netanyahu’s his first term as prime minister. He later replaced Avigdor Lieberman as the head of the Prime Minister’s Office. Leon recently announced his candidacy in the Jerusalem mayoral race (municipal elections are due to take place in Israel this fall). He is backed by Avigdor Lieberman and a coalition of the ultra-Orthodox parties.

Leon, who only moved to Jerusalem in recent months, was under police investigation in the late 90s for his involvement in transferring payments through a proxy named Yigal Amedi to Netanyahu. The police ended up recommending filing charges against him, but the Attorney General at the time, Elyakim Rubinstein (who currently sits on the Supreme Court) decided to close the case. Leon was also interrogated for his involvement with a project run by Martin Schlaff, the Austrian Billionaire who was close to the Sharon family. This case was also later closed.

Linde told the Seventh Eye that the decision not to mention those investigations when reporting on Leon was due to legal concerns: “[The Post’s publisher] Eli Azur told me that there is no ground for these suspicions,” said Linde, “and we don’t want to get into legal troubles.”

The financial paper Calcalist reported in 2010 that the Post’s publisher, Eli Azur, was among the guests at the wedding of Leon’s son.

It should be noted that other reports on Leon in the Hebrew media did mention those investigations, as does his Wikipedia entry. Since Linde allegedly sent his email, the Post published two items on Leon’s candidacy – both of which are pretty positive, and none mentioning his past.

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    1. Piotr Berman


      It seems that Ha’aretz did not mention these investigations either when Moshe Leon was considered for Finance Minister. However, having an investigation or two in the past, or even a prison term is hardly a distinguishing characteristic in Israeli politics. For example, Deri who endorsed Leon is a “reformed person” who rejoined the society after a successful re-education in a state institution.

      More puzzling, the Wiki entry on Moshe Leon is sabotaged, the text I see now is the following:

      Moshe Leon
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      Moshe Leon
      משה ליאון
      Personal information
      Date of birth 1944
      Place of birth Bulgaria
      Playing position Defender
      Youth career
      Maccabi Jaffa
      Senior career*
      Years Team Apps† (Gls)†
      Maccabi Jaffa
      – Westview Apollon
      National team
      1962–1977 Israel 26 (1)
      * Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only. † Appearances (Goals).
      Moshe “Motsi” Leon (Hebrew: משה “מוצי” ליאון‎; born 1944) is a former Israeli international footballer.


      “ליאון משה” (in Hebrew). Israel Football Association. Retrieved 2009-07-26.
      Kos a5to a5o shrmota

      Note that the last line is most unusual.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Ben

      “Kos a5to a5o shrmota” means roughly “his sister is a [female genitals] his brother is a whore” in Arabic.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Sid

      Just shows how Israeli press operate . Linde is a bloody fool and suppresses
      Freedom of the press just like his letters editor does to readers letters. Facts don’t appear
      To be part of JPost agenda

      Reply to Comment