Peace Now Apologizes to Rights Group For Slander
Extreme leftist group Peace Now was forced to delete its Facebook page campaigning against rights group Honenu Wednesday, after it falsely accused a man of being a "terrorist."
Honenu is a legal rights group which campaigns for the legal rights of Jews from Judea and Samaria, including the right to see a lawyer and the right not to face punishment without trial under “administrative orders.” On several occasions, the NGO has represented young men accused of so-called “price tag” vandalism in court.
Peace Now founder Yariv Oppenheimer accused the group of defending "murderers and 'Price Tag' criminals" Tuesday. An attached advertisement accused Honenu of assisting “terrorists.” The list of “terrorists” Honenu was alleged to have helped included Yossi Ben-Baruch. According to the ad, Ben-Baruch was part of the Bat Ayin Underground group; in fact, he was found innocent of any involvement with the group over a decade ago.
Channel 2 journalist Amnon Abramovich also slammed the rights group on the weekly program "Friday News" on Friday evening, prompting the organization to submit a complaint.
"In the 'Friday News' program which aired last Friday night, Mr. Abramovich used the title 'Breaking the Law and Receiving Benefits' in his broadcast and on the internet about our organization," Attorney Doron Nir Zvi, legal representative for Honenu, noted in the letter to both Abramovich and the Channel 2 news corporation. "This header is not only false, but as indicated from the final words of Abramovich in the article, portray our group as participating in illegal activities."
"This organization has proper administrative approval and has never acted without the full accordance of the law," the letter stressed. The attorney then asked in the name of Honenu to issue an official apology and change the false headline.
Honenu released a statement Wednesday night emphasizing the legality of the organization. "The organization works to promote the purposes for which it was established, goals that have been approved by the Registrar of Associations and which were qualified for admission under section 46A," the statement declared. "The article that appeared, and the words of Amnon Abramovich, are a cynical and ugly attempt to influence the decisions of Israel's top-ranking judiciaries."
Meanwhile, Peace Now issued an official apology to Yossi Ben Baruch Wednesday over the Bat Ayin Underground connection. "We wish to clarify that Yossi Ben-Baruch was acquitted of all charges of being associated with the Bat Ayin Underground," the apology read. "If it was misconstrued as such, we are so sorry."