The son of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is involved in a lawsuit against the left-wing think tank Molad, arrived 45 minutes late to an arbitration meeting with representatives of the organization on Tuesday. When rebuked for his tardiness, he cursed Molad’s staff and walked out, according to a Facebook post by Sani Arazi, one of think tank’s representatives.
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Molad – The Center for the Renewal of Israeli Democracy sued the 26-year-old Yair Netanyahu for libel over the summer and he countersued several months later. The meeting on Tuesday was intended to try to bridge the differences between the parties. However, Arazi claims that after Netanyahu was chided for being 45 minutes late, he lost his temper.
“’Your mother’s c**t, you left-wingers!’ That is what the members of Molad and I heard today, not at some demonstration or in the street, and not from some criminal or child who doesn’t know any better. That’s what was said to us today by the son of the prime minister, Mr. Yair Netanyahu,” Arazi wrote on Facebook. According to Arazi, Netanyahu and his lawyer then “fled the room at the lawyer’s office, just 10 seconds after he had entered it for the attempt to bridge between us, as the court suggested.” Netanyahu’s lawyer has yet to comment on the allegation.
Netanyahu was also 45 minutes late to the previous meeting, a source familiar with the situation told Haaretz.
Arazi said on Wednesday that Netanyahu’s reaction disappointed him. “It seems he was not prepared to talk and it’s a pity that that’s how things turned out,” he said. “It is regrettable that the level of his hatred for his fellow citizens of the nation is so great and overwhelming.”
In July 2017, Molad wrote a Facebook post titled, “Five things you didn’t know about the heir to the throne, Yair Netanyahu.” In response, Netanyahu called the organization “the radical anti-Zionist organization Molad, which is funded [in turn] by the Israel Destruction Fund and the European Union.” Molad sued for libel.
Molad’s post claimed that Netanyahu doesn’t work for a living, lives off the taxpayers’ money and has a round-the-clock bodyguard, among other things, and that his views are “associated with the extreme right.” Netanyahu charges that the post was “accompanied by a denigrating and embarrassing picture” depicting him dressed like a clown with a crown on his head.
Arazi says that Netanyahu’s lawyer told him that “young Yair has nothing to apologize for for claiming that we are anti-Zionists funded by an organization devoted to the destruction of Israel.”
Two weeks ago Netanyahu’s lawyer, Yossi Cohen, filed a defense against Molad’s libel suit, arguing that the claim is just a “desperate attempt at an ounce of prevention, after the plaintiff posted a highly defamatory post against Netanyahu.” Netanyahu’s distress, sorrow and affront following the malicious post are hard to describe, the defense claims.
Cohen also claimed that Molad’s libel suit is groundless and that the posts by Netanyahu about Molad were legitimate expression of opinion which “by any criteria is undermining the existence of the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people.” Molad’s radical opinions directly and indirectly damage the Jewish character of the state, Cohen wrote.
Netanyahu is a “true patriot,” the defense continues: “The security, welfare and prosperity of the State of Israel are highly important to him.” Netanyahu denies intending to smear Molad’s good name. “The plaintiff does not have a good name, but the name of a radical left-wing organization that, in the views of the plaintiff and of many other Israeli people, emblemizes subversion against the state,” says the defense.
Earlier this week Molad filed its response, in which it criticized “the crudeness, incendiary language and verbal violence characterizing spirit and words of the defense.” It declined to descend to the level of the plaintiff or his lawyer, Molad says, adding that if it were to do so, it would define the defense document as “filthy.”