Ne­tanyahus Win Li­bel Case Against Ye­dioth Jour­nal­ist

The Jewish Voice - - ISRAEL - By: An­drew Fried­man

The Tel Aviv Mag­is­trate’s Court or­dered Ye­dioth Ahronoth jour­nal­ist Yi­gal Sarna Sun­day to pay Prime Min­is­ter Binyamin Ne­tanyahu and his wife Sara NIS 100,000 ($28,271) in dam­ages and a fur­ther NIS 15,000 in le­gal costs.

The rul­ing stemmed from a post on Sarna’s Face­book page al­leg­ing that fol­low­ing a vo­cal ar­gu­ment be­tween the cou­ple, Sara Ne­tanyahu had thrown her hus­band out of their car on the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem high­way, forc­ing the prime min­is­ter’s con­voy to a halt un­til the mar­i­tal dis­pute was re­solved.

The Ne­tanyahus sued for NIS 139,621, and a fur­ther NIS 139,621 for an ad­di­tional post two days later in which Sarna wrote that “a petty dic­ta­tor was left by the side of the road wait­ing to hitch a ride.”

Judge Azariya Al­kali ruled, “The de­fen­dant [Sarna], as he him­self ad­mits, set a goal of crit­i­ciz­ing the claimants [Binyamin and Sara Ne­tanyahu] and their con­duct. This he chose to do by slan­der­ing their name us­ing col­or­ful lan­guage and harsh im­agery some of which, due to its harsh­ness and ug­li­ness, man­i­fests ex­tra­ne­ous opin­ion and

crit­i­cism un­der the guise of free­dom of speech, while the case at hand in­volves slan­der and not opin­ion, as­pir­ing to de­scribe a sit­u­a­tion that tran­spired which has not been proven to be true,” he wrote.

The Prime Min­is­ter praised the rul­ing. “Fi­nally, jus­tice has been done,” he said.

Sarna has in­di­cated his in­ten­tion to ap­peal the de­ci­sion. He lamented "the gen­eral si­lenc­ing descend­ing upon us," and said that the rul­ing was "ex­pected in th­ese dark times."

Jus­tice Azaria Al­ka­lai said Sarna failed to prove that the al­leged events had oc­curred and that he had pub­lished his com­ments “with ma­li­cious in­tent and with the aim of sham­ing and hu­mil­i­at­ing the plain­tiffs.”

Al­ka­lai awarded NIS 60,000 in dam­ages to Binyamin Ne­tanyahu, say­ing that as prime min­is­ter the dam­age to his rep­u­ta­tion was greater than that to Sara Ne­tanyahu, to whom he awarded NIS 40,000. In ad­di­tion, Sarna was or­dered to pay 15 thou­sand shekels to the cou­ple as com­pen­sa­tion for le­gal ex­penses.

A spokesman for the Ne­tanyahu fam­ily said: “Fi­nally, jus­tice has been done.”

Al­ka­lai awarded NIS 60,000 in dam­ages to Binyamin Ne­tanyahu, say­ing that as prime min­is­ter the dam­age to his rep­u­ta­tion was greater than that to Sara Ne­tanyahu, to whom he awarded NIS 40,000.

The Tel Aviv Mag­is­trate’s Court or­dered Ye­dioth Ahronoth jour­nal­ist Yi­gal Sarna (pic­tured above) Sun­day to pay Prime Min­is­ter Binyamin Ne­tanyahu and his wife Sara NIS 100,000 ($28,271) in dam­ages and a fur­ther NIS 15,000 in le­gal costs.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.