(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Balad complained to Yediot Aharonot about prominent political journalist Amit Segal for calling it “a terrorist organization with campaign funding,” the Israeli-Arab party announced Monday.
Dr. Mtanes Shihadeh, Balad’s new leader, wrote to the newspaper that “Segal’s statements go beyond the limits of free speech and journalism. Such statements delegitimize Balad, which has a democratic platform calling for a state of all its citizens.”
Shihadeh called the remarks “incitement,” adding that it breaks defamation laws.
Segal wrote the comment in his Friday column, pointing out that left-wing parties that acted to help Balad get into the Knesset are now complaining about extremist Otzma Yehudit getting a boost from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Balad’s founder, Azmi Bishara, is a fugitive living in Qatar, who fled Israel after being caught giving Hezbollah information about where their rockets fell while they waged war against Israel in 2006. In 2014, Balad MK Haneen Zoabi expressed sympathy for Hamas’s methods as it bombarded Israeli civilian centers during Operation Protective Edge. Last year, then-Balad MK Basel Ghattas went to prison for smuggling documents and phones to terrorists in prison.
Shihadeh said that calling the party a terrorist organization is “hostility and open incitement against the entire Arab society,” which could encourage violence against the party and its supporters.
Segal did not respond to a request for comment.
Earlier Monday, Segal filed a lawsuit of his own against poet and former Ha’aretz columnist Yitzhak Laor, who posted photos of Segal on Facebook, labeling him “A. Hitler.”
Segal is suing Laor for NIS 140,059, and tweeted his reasoning: “The time has come, once and for all, to end this shameful phenomenon that has become routine. We will no longer compare Jews to Nazis. Those who [do] will pay – and a lot.”
Laor responded on Channel 13: “My joke did not work... I surely could have been more clever. I am sorry for the unsuccessful prank. I understand I will have to go to court again – [that is] unfortunate. I just retired and hoped to travel a bit.”
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>