Nationalist activist sues left-wing haredi writer for slander

August 8, 2016  

Attorney and nationalist activist Itamar Ben-Gvir has initiated a lawsuit against haredi attorney and commentator Dov Halbertal, claiming recent statements by Halbertal against Ben-Gvir and an associate constitute slander.

Halbertal, who is known for his antagonism towards Jewish nationalist movements, settlement of Judea and Samaria, earlier this year penned an article lamenting the absence of a ‘haredi left’.

In a recent interview with Galei Yisrael, Halbertal ripped Ben-Gvir and Lehava chairman Bentzi Gopshtain, comparing the two to Yishai Shlissel, the haredi man who twice carried out stabbing attacks on the Jerusalem gay pride parade, wounding three in 2005 and killing one and wounding five in 2015.

“As far as I am concerned, they [Ben-Gvir and Gopshtain] are Shlissel, they are the same thing… a group of Jewish terrorists,” Halbertal said.

In response, Ben-Gvir penned a letter, warning Halbertal of his intention to sue him, demanding 70,000 shekels ($18,300) in compensation for the slander.

“The things you said about me constitute slander according to the Anti-Slander statue,” wrote Ben-Gvir. “Your words degraded and embarrassed me, tarnished my good name and besmirched me for no reason, all with the intention of making me the object of hatred, mockery, and public ridicule, and in so doing caused me great damage and deep personal anguish.”

Ben-Gvir added that “the fact that you labelled me ‘Shlissel’, ‘a Jewish terrorist’, and ‘a murderer’ has opened me up to very real threats by terror groups and left-wing extremists against my life and the lives of my family.”

In addition to his demand for 70,000 shekels ($18,300) in damages, Ben-Gvir has called for Halbertal to publicly apologize for his statements.

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