Yair Netanyahu, think tank headed for trial in defamation suits

Both parties are suing each other for defamation over mutual insults on social media.

Yair Netanyahu (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Yair Netanyahu
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Yair Netanyahu and the Molad organization refused on Thursday to settle their defamation suits against each other despite pressure from the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court.
The failed outside-of-court mediation after months of attempts means that the trial will almost inevitably go forward in December.
In August 2017, Molad sued Netanyahu for NIS 140,000 for defamation after he attacked it on Facebook.
It said that Netanyahu misused his public standing as the son of the prime minister to try to ruin its reputation and incite the public against it by propagating lies about the organization.
Molad said that he accused it of being an anti-Zionist organization funded by those who wanted to destroy Israel.
In December, Netanyahu responded with a counter-suit for an equal amount of damages, citing a counter-post by Molad attacking him.
He said that the post presented inaccurate information and demeaned him in order to damage his public persona, including presenting a photoshopped picture of him in a clown outfit.
Moreover, he said that his allegations against Molad were true and can be easily gleaned from its public statements and information campaigns.
To date, while both sides appear ready for some degree of mutual apology, Molad maintains that Netanyahu’s attack was far harsher and that any apology must reflect that reality.
According to its website, Molad “is an independent, non-partisan Israeli think tank that works to reinvigorate Israeli society by injecting new ideas into all spheres of public discourse.”
It says that, “In the realm of foreign affairs and security, maintaining control over the Palestinian territories is increasingly pushing Israel towards international isolation, expanding its regional isolation, and compromising its future as a democratic state. Civil society is seeing an upsurge in tribal attitudes that are incompatible with the modern way of life.”
Molad also says that it has influenced the policy platforms of center-left political parties.