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Nationalist Attorney Sues TV Station For 'Price Tag' Libel

Itamar Ben-Gvir demands 100,000 shekel compensation after being libeled on TV show as 'guiding youth to price tag crime.'
By Yishai Karov, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 9/3/2014, 5:42 PM

Itamar Ben-Gvir
Itamar Ben-Gvir
Flash 90

Nationalist activist and attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir has launched a lawsuit against a TV station to the sum of 100,000 shekels ($28,000) on charges of libel.

On a program hosted by Israeli-Arab Lucy Aharish on Channel 2, which was broadcast around four months ago and dealt with "price tag" vandalism, TV and radio host Shani Nahshoni took part in the panel and used the opportunity to attack the attorney.

Nahshoni claimed Ben-Gvir "doesn't just represent the 'hilltop youth' and get their release (from 'price tag' charges), he also guides them, instigating them to crime and sending the youths to conduct these criminal acts."

In response to the verbal attack Ben-Gvir wrote to the news channel, arguing that the statement is not only a blatant lie, but also a clear infringement of the Israeli laws concerning libel.

"While it's true that I represent many of those suspected of acts termed 'price tag,' there's a great distance between that and the claim that I guide them to crime and send them (to carry out criminal acts)," noted Ben-Gvir.

The attorney added that the comments "led to my humiliation and caused me to be a target for hatred, disgrace and ridicule, and even caused harm to my profession (as a lawyer)."

"Since the program was broadcast live, I saw fit to turn to you and ask for a public apology," commented Ben-Gvir. He added that the program had offered to have him appear in a broadcast in which Nahshoni would apologize, but that such promises have still not come to fruition, despite his frequent requests on the issue that have been ignored.

In light of the situation, Ben-Gvir demanded 100,000 shekels in compensation for the libel within a seven-day window along with a public apology, and added "if this will not be done, I will be forced to take legal action against you."