Jewish family sues left-wing activist for slander

Please click here for more cases involving left-wing activist Arik Ascherman.

Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado; Photo credit: Honenu

Wednesday, March 27, 2024, 11:01 One month ago, left-wing activist Arik Ascherman posted on his Facebook page documentation of what he claimed was a Jewish family trespassing on privately owned Arab land. On behalf of the family, Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado filed a NIS 50,000 suit against Ascherman for slander with the Eretz Hemdah Rabbinical Monetary Court.

In the statement of claim, Attorney Yado described how Ascherman slandered a Jewish family although he had no proof of their wrongdoing: “On February 7, 2024, a family living in Kochav HaShahar went for a walk on the banks of Nahal Yitav [a stream], which is located near the community. The area is uncultivated, open, and regularly visited by the public. The walk was not violent or antagonistic in any way. Suddenly, the defendant [Ascherman] arrived on the scene, recorded the family from his car, accused them of trespassing on land privately owned by Arab farmers. He yelled at the parents that they were giving their children a poor education and setting a terrible example by trespassing. He also threatened to call the police. After he finished accusing them of violating the laws of the country, he further accused them of violating the Torah. After that, he yelled a false claim at them that the land was registered under the names of the farmers [the owners] in the Israeli Land Registry Bureau, although there is no Israeli Land Registry Bureau in Yehuda and Shomron.

“Sometime later, the father was sent a defamatory post that the defendant had posted [on Facebook] stating that groups of Arabs [the owners] living near the site had been located. The defendant wrote in his post: ‘Is this how one educates children? What is the answer to the question of how a religious family can trespass on land belonging to non-Jews? “Am Yisrael Chai” [The People of Israel lives]. I answered that the People of Israel do not live if this is how they trample the Torah and spit at G-d.’”

Attorney Yado underscored that Ascherman’s post endangers the lives of the family, even though they had done nothing wrong: “The post is mendacious and slanderous. The claim that the family ‘trespassed’ is a false accusation. The claim that the land belongs to ‘non-Jews’ requires proof. Beyond that, if the area in question is open and there is no sign prohibiting entry, there is no prohibition to enter, and the family legally entered the area, not as intruders or trespassers. The claim that the parents are trampling the Torah and spitting [at G-d] is patently slanderous. The post was shared by the defendant on social media and caused defamation and degradation of the plaintiffs. The post was also shared on the Instagram accounts of the nearby Arab villages and certainly caused needless hostilities and dispute. The identities of the family members were publicized for nationalistic vilification by Arabs in the neighboring communities.”

Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado commented on the case: “Ascherman defines himself as a peace activist, but in fact does not cease provoking disputes, interfering with others’ matters, and posting unfounded claims on social media that could cause hostilities and provoke disputes in the area.”


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