Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog received an apology this week from an Israeli active on social media who shared a post against him that slandered him and Aura Herzog, Isaac Herzog's mother. The Supreme Court ruling stating that sharing a libelous post or tweet is also subject to the libel laws is having an immediate effect on political discourse.
Herzog filed a NIS 360,000 lawsuit for defamation through his representatives, Adv. Amir Tytunovich and Adv. Efrat Azoulay, against two parties for a post that they shared, even though they did not write it. The action of disseminating false and slanderous content is one of the major current problems on social networks and in public discourse. The concern is that spreading content in enormous amounts and at record speed sometimes makes it impossible to deal with the slanderous content, which people accept as true.
According to the statement of claim, the two parties published a report in June 2018 and June 2019 that Herzog had allegedly moved his mother from her home in Herzliya to an old people's home, and had moved into her house in order to benefit from the money to which Israeli presidents and their widows are legally entitled (Aura Herzog is the widow of late President Chaim Herzog) after their retirement. The truth is that Aura Herzog lives in her home in Herzliya, while Isaac Herzog still lives in his home in Tel Aviv with his wife and family.
One of the respondents removed the slander from the social networks. If she does not fulfill her obligations under the settlement with Isaac Herzog, which includes leaving a statement apologizing for the error at the top of her social media feeds, she will have to pay him the full NIS 360,000 amount of the lawsuit, plus legal expenses and lawyers' fees, which will be very expensive. No settlement has been reached with the other respondent.
Herzog said yesterday, "The keyboard thugs are writing vicious lies. As a public servant, I have the duty to combat incitement, defamation, and fake news in our society."
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 21, 2020
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