The Knesset has approved a law prohibiting slander of IDF soldiers in an initial vote. The bill was put forth by MKs Yoni Chetboun (Bayit Yehudi), Yariv Levin (Likud Beytenu), and Nachman Shai (Labor).
It has been dubbed the “Jenin, Jenin bill” after the libelous documentary “Jenin, Jenin.” While the documentary was found to have contained lies, including accusations of murder, the soldiers accused were unable to file suit because no one individual soldier had been accused.
MKs are hoping to deter future libel by allowing soldiers to sue over false accusations even if they, individually, were not named.
“IDF soldiers, like all citizens of Israel, deserve the natural right to defend their good name,” said Chetboun. “As someone who fought and served as a commander, I learned through experience how hard it is to deal with provocation. As a soldier, you don’t always know what to be more careful about – the rocks being thrown at you, or the filmed provocation.”
“The time has come to give IDF soldiers a voice… The current situation, in which soldiers are sitting ducks for unbridled verbal assaults and cannot respond, is intolerable, and seriously undermines soldiers’ motivation,” he warned.
“This law will bring back a bit of the fighting spirit, the calm, and the motivation to focus on the mission,” he added.