Netanyahu's Son Sued for Libel in His Facebook Posts

The left-wing Molad think tank is seeking NIS 140,000 for Yair Netanyahu's post labeling them a 'radical anti-Zionist organization'

Yair Netanyahu at the Prime Minister's Residence, October 13, 2016
Marc Israel Sellem

The left-wing Israeli think tank Molad filed a libel suit against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's son on Tuesday following a Facebook post he published last week. Yair Netanyahu is being sued for 140,000 shekels ($38,824).

In a response to a post titled "Five things you didn't know about the heir to the throne, Yair Netanyahu" last week on "61," a Facebook page run by Molad, the 26-year-old called the organization "the radical anti-Zionist organization Molad, which is funded [in turn] by the Israel Destruction Fund and the European Union." Molad describes itself as a site providing critical material to the Israeli public on socioeconomic issues and on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

In another post 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."

In the lawsuit, Molad's attorney Yuval Yoaz wrote that Netanyahu acted "in an abominable, cynical, vile, vicious and uninhibited manner, all out of his (almost declared) goal of trying to shame the plaintiff, shed its blood, hurt its image and reputation, sabotage its activity and publicly humilitiate it by publishing ugly falsehoods that have no trace of truth."

Yoaz also wrote, "This is a defendant who has acted on more than one occasion out of an obsessive attempt to harm the plaintiff at any cost and to trample its reputation publicly out of spite and malice for its own sake." The lawsuit claims that Netanyahu is making "cynical and cruel use of his public status as the prime minister's son to incite the public against the plaintiff and humiliate it."

In the lawsuit, Molad demands that Netanyahu remove the posts, apologize, and pay 140,000 shekels in compensation.

Netanyahu's lawyer, Yossi Cohen, commented in reply: "A body that purports to be liberal and pluralistic first slandered the prime minister's son and is now acting via an aggressive silencing lawsuit to prevent Yair Netanyahu the right to reply. We will easily reject this delusional suit, and of course we will take parallel legal measures."

Shortly after Netanyahu's Facebook posts, the Molad Center commented: "We hope that the Netanyahu family’s lawyers are not too busy at the present time, because if Yair doesn’t publish an apology on his lie-ridden post, they will have to deal with a libel suit."

Yair Netanyahu's Facebook post