Left-wing Think Tank Epically Trolls Netanyahu in Libel Suit Against His Son

Closely reading the lawsuit filed against Yair Netanyahu apparently shows the Molad left-wing think tank taking a page out of the PM's playbook

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his sons, Yair and Avner, at the Western Wall.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his sons, Yair and Avner, at the Western Wall. Uriel Sinai/AP

After a left-wing Israeli think tank sued Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son Yair for libel over Facebook posts he published last week, his lawyer labeled the lawsuit as "delusional." But as it turns out, he himself wrote a large part of it, as the suit was largely copied from a prior successful one filed by the prime minister, whom the same lawyer represents.

In a response to a post titled "Five things you didn't know about the heir to the throne, Yair Netanyahu" last week on a Facebook page run by the Molad think tank, the 26-year-old Netanyahu called the group a "radical anti-Zionist organization" and said it was "funded by the Israel Destruction Fund and the European Union." Molad describes itself as a group providing information on socioeconomic issues and on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the Israeli public.

In another Facebook post, the young Netanyahu wrote, "The Fund for the Destruction of Israel, funded by Soros and the European Union, is threatening me in the style of the Sicilian mafia. Actually, the term Bolsheviks suits them better."

After Netanyahu refused to apologize for his posts, Molad filed a libel suit for 140,000 shekels ($38,800).

Yossi Cohen, the Netanyahu family lawyer who represents Yair Netanyahu in this case, said after the lawsuit was filed that he "will easily reject this delusional suit," which is funny because, according to the Israeli media watchdog The Seventh Eye, he actually wrote big parts of it. 

In a report on Thursday, The Seventh Eye compared the lawsuit against Yair Netanyahu to a libel suit filed by the prime minister, when he sued a journalist for writing on Facebook that Netanyahu was kicked out of his car by his wife. As it turns out, parts of the two lawsuits are almost identical. 

The report shows compares the two lawsuit and shows how entire paragraphs in the suit against Yair Netanyahu and the one brought by his father are almost word for word. Interestingly enough, the prime minister's suit was filed by the same lawyer now defending his son.

And considering the fact that the Yedioth Ahronoth journalist, Igal Sarna, lost the case and was ordered to pay the Netanyahus 115,000 shekels ($32,500) in damages, it would be interesting to see how he intends to fight himself in court.