Paper: PLO Man Helped Fund Leftist's Defense in Slander Trial

Haaretz Service
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Haaretz Service

Faisal Husseini, the late PLO representative for Jerusalem, helped fund a left-wing Israeli's defense of slander charges against him, brought by members of an IDF unit, the daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth revealed Sunday.

The soldiers of the Alexandroni Brigade accused historian Teddy Katz of slander following the publication of his M.A. thesis in which he claimed that they had attacked the village of Tantura and massacred its residents during the 1948 War of Independence.

During the trial, it became clear that there were contradictions between the taped testimonies of the village's residents and the soldiers in the unit, and what he actually published in his thesis.

Katz said last week that he received from Husseini $8,000 to finance his court battle, during the time that the case was in court. He later asked Husseini for a further $10,000 but was rejected by the Palestinian politician. Katz, who met Husseini at a pro-peace functions, explained that he saw it as natural to ask for help from Husseini, a friend.

The idea of asking the Palestinian Authority for help came after he failed to raise the money needed to fund his defense in the trial. Prior to asking for money from Husseini he solicited donations from friends, who held a fundraising evening at a theater to help him.

Katz is a member of Kibbutz Magal, but preferred not to receive money from the kibbutz.

Husseini died of a heart attack in June 2001 while attending a conference in Kuwait on freezing "normalization" with Israel.

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