Journalist ordered to pay Netanyahu damages for libel 

Netanyahu took a well-known Israeli journalist to court, accusing him of libel, and won.

A Tel Aviv court has ordered a journalist to pay more than NIS 100,000 ($25,000) in damages to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara for libeling them.

The magistrate court in Tel Aviv ruled Sunday that Yigal Sarna libeled the couple for writing a Facebook post claiming the prime minister’s wife had kicked Netanyahu out of their car during a fight.

According to Netanyahu, the entire story was a lie; it did not and could not have happened. Anyone who knows anything at all about motorcade security would understand that such a situation could not have occurred, he said.

Sarna, one of the founders of leftwing Peace Now, has a long history of criticizing the Netanyahu family in his columns.

The Netanyahus appeared in court in March to testify against Sarna, who claimed to have sources to back up his claims. The court ruled that the Facebook post was aimed specifically at harming the Netanyahus and damaging their reputations.

The post was written in a “tempestuous style, while expressing contempt for the plaintiffs,” the judge wrote, adding that his ruling was significant in the fact that it served to deter users to post lies as truth on social media.

Netanyahu and his wife said that justice has been done. Sarna’s attorneys plan to appeal the verdict.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff