NIF Sues Israel Hayom Newspaper for Defamation

NIF has sued Israeli daily newspaper Israel Hayom for defamation over a series of articles. The newspaper falsely claimed, including on its front page, that NIF supported a “farewell party” for former Knesset Member Basel Ghattas on the eve of his imprisonment. Ghattas was arrested for smuggling cell phones into prison for the use of Palestinians convicted of terror offenses.

The suit demands an apology for the false information, a retraction and a penalty of NIS 75,000.

The newspaper is often criticised for serving as a mouthpiece of the prime minister. It has long targeted NIF with shoddy reporting and a hostile editorial page. This time they went too far and NIF chose to hold them accountable.

The suit, filed in the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court by Adv. Ishay Shneydor, stresses that “prior to publication, NIF made it clear to the journalist and his editors that the information they were publishing was wrong, and after its publication NIF demanded that the newspaper publish an apology and clarification – but the Israel Hayom editors refused.”

The suit added that the connection made by the newspaper between Ghattas and the celebration organised for him “is fundamentally false and designed to demonise the name of the plaintiff in the eyes of the Israeli public at large and designed to portray NIF as an organisation that supports and funds terrorists.”

NIF Israel Executive Director Mickey Gitzin explained that “Israel Hayom is exploiting its power in order to deliberately and falsely harm NIF’s reputation. A newspaper cannot ignore the journalistic ethics, or simple basic fairness and it must not be allowed to trample the truth.”

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September 2017