Federman Sues Journalist For Libel

Hevron activist Noam Federman has sued Israeli journalist Yair Lapid for 55,000 shekels ($12,600) in damages. It was said on Lapid's TV program that Federman is "not really Jewish."

, | updated: 23:32

Federman claims in the lawsuit that the statement was humiliating and defamatory. On the program, hosted by Lapid, a fiction scene was shown in which two supposed intelligence agents were conversing: 

Agent #1: "What about administrative detention?" 
Agent #2: "Not for Jews." 
Agent #1: "Noam Federman sat in administrative detention."
Agent #2: "He is not really a Jew."

Federman said that after the broadcast, he asked the programming company to apologize and compensate him with 50,000 shekels in damages. Federman added that not only did he not receive a response, but that Lapid's response as quoted in the Maarive newspaper was, "It doesn't surprise me that the man asks for an apology regarding a scene of fiction. He is fiction [and] all of his opinions are fiction in my eyes."

Federman said the statement concerning his Judaism was made during prime time and that the statement not only was libelous but also made him an object of hatred among the Israeli public. "Many things have been said about me in the past," he said, "but to say I'm not Jewish is already too much."

Lapid's father is former journalist Yosef (Tommy) Lapid, head of the anti-religious Shinui party.