Head of security sues left-wing activist

Ascherman's Tweet

Ascherman’s Tweet

Wednesday, May 20, 2020, 16:29 The head of security of the community of Amihai in the Shilo Bloc is suing Arik Ascherman, an American-born Israeli Reform rabbi and the founder of “Torat Tzedek”, for libel over his mendacious and defamatory posts in the social media. At the conclusion of the suit, which was filed by Honenu Attorney Menasheh Yado, the head of security asks the court to order Ascherman and “Torat Tzedek” to immediately remove the posts, to pay him 50,000 NIS in compensation and to post an appropriate apology.
The posts in question were publicized during the week of Sunday, May 10, after an incident involving residents of Amihai and a group of Arabs. The residents stated that several Arabs drove their tractors onto cultivated agricultural land and plowed through it, destroying a wheat crop which was almost ready for harvest. A resident of Amihai was run over by one of the tractors when he tried to physically block them. The Arabs countered, as Ascherman posted on his Twitter account, that they were allowed to destroy the crop because the land is under private Arab ownership.
The suit states that several hours after the incident Ascherman tweeted on his personal Twitter account and posted on the Facebook page of “Torat Tzedek” a photograph of the head of security and claimed that he had led settlers to attack Arabs who were doing agricultural work and had also given them tear gas to spray at the Arabs. Ascherman posted the status on the Facebook page of the organization and then shared it. The post is written in Hebrew and English and has been shared by others on social media.
Several hours after Ascherman publicized the posts, the head of security informed him that the posts were mendacious and asked him to remove them immediately. Ascherman refused and replied that he trusted his Arab sources. He then invited the complainant to give his version of the incident and added to his post that the head of security denied what was written in the post. Ascherman left a photograph of the head of security in the post, identifying him – falsely – as the one who had led an attack on the Arab growers.
From the suit: “The post is completely mendacious, baseless and lacks a connection to reality. The complainant did not lead others to attack and was not present at the site at the time of the clash. The complainant arrived at the site in the capacity of his job as the head of security of Amihai, after the arrival of the security forces and after the violence had stopped.” The photograph of the head of security which Ascherman posted was taken after the clash and after the security forces had arrived.
The suit specifies that the post is “demeaning, disparaging and paints a picture of the the complainant as someone who abuses his authority as a security person.” Also, publicizing the photograph of the head of security via social media to Arabs living in the area is liable to cause substantial injury to the head of security. “The publicization of the subject has in it incitement and poses a danger to the complainant, and because the publicization is clearly false, it must be immediately removed.”
Honenu Attorney Menasheh Yado, who is representing the head of security: “Left wing organizations are waging a war, an unfair war, on the residents of Yehuda and Shomron, both on the ground and on the Internet. We hope and believe that Ascherman will be penalized for his mendacious, inciting, and harmful posts which jeopardize the safety of the complainant and which he refused to remove despite a request from the complainant and his explanations that the posts were mendacious.”
See here for more cases involving left-wing activist Arik Ascherman.

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