Former Israeli soldier Rebecca Reem has filed a $6 million lawsuit against BDS activist Suhir Napal in a California court. She is being represented by Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center. Social activist Reem, 26, immigrated to Israel from California when she was 18 to serve in the Israel Defense Forces. She says she could never have imagined how the move would lead to a worldwide campaign of shaming and even threats to her life and an incessant daily campaign of intimidation and harassment against her and her family by the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. She recounts that there were times when she was scared to leave her home.
Reem joined the Israeli army's Education Corps in 2012 where she served as an officer in charge of the Nativ program for Jewish converts. During her service she also served as a combat fitness coach and in field intelligence. Early in her service a picture of her during basic training with her gun and protection equipment appeared on the Israeli army's official Facebook page as part of a post calling on young people to join the army. The post was to change her life.
In 2018, three years after Reem was discharged from the army, a BDS activist called Suhir Napal, an American living in California, put a post on her personal Facebook page with the picture of Reem in basic training alongside a picture of Rouzan-al-Najjar, a Palestinian nurse from Gaza killed by IDF gunfire in June 2018 in rioting during a 'March of Return' protest on the Israel-Gaza border. The post was designed to give the impression that Reem was responsible for Al-Najjar's death.
The post from Napal, an employee in the BDS movement, spread quickly through the anti-Israel movement and eventually reached millions of people worldwide. Reem who had left the Israeli army several years previously and had never once even been to the Israel-Gaza border received countless threats on her life and the lives of her family for allegedly murdering an innocent nurse.
Reem says that after her military service she traveled abroad and even took part in joint Israeli-Arab delegations in Jordan and the West Bank and volunteered for human rights activities including working in refugee camps in Greece and Latin America.
Two years after the libelous post, she sought assistance from Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center, which uses the courts to combat terrorism and antisemitism.
Following the $6 million defamation suit filed in the California court earlier this week by Shurat HaDin against Suhir Napal, she changed the definitions on her Facebook page so that she can now only be seen by her friends. Shurat HaDin sees this change as a first sign of victory and a deterrent.
Shurat HaDin president Adv. Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said, "It sems that we are returning to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and the anti-Semitic blood libels of the past. Rebecca and her family were slandered and received death threats simply because she was an Israeli soldier. The war waged by Israel haters also extends to the legal dimension, and Rebecca's lawsuit is in the forefront of the campaign against global BDS and its opposition to the State of Israel. BDS activists will know that they themselves may have a personal obligation for their anti-Zionist activities and might even pay a very heavy price."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on September 23, 2020
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