Rabbi Naumberg
Rabbi NaumbergCredit: Kan 11

The Mechinat Atzmona pre-military academy sent a letter of warning prior to the initiation of legal proceedings to the CEO of Channel 13 News and reporter Omri Maniv on Wednesday.

About two-and-a-half weeks ago, Channel 13 reporter Omri Maniv broadcast a report on Rabbi Asaf Naumberg of the Mechinat Atzmona pre-military academy, portraying him as if he was making statements in support of attacking the secular public and opposing IDF service. Later it was revealed that the quotes were taken completely out of context in a deliberate attempt to discredit the rabbi and the academy, which Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz (Yamina) headed until recently.

The letter, which was sent by the academy's attorney, Michael Dvorin, stated, "Channel 13 News, through the journalist Omri Yaniv, has made it their habit for many months already to unjustifiably disparage my client and the rabbis who teach there, headed by Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz."

"Recently, you reached a new journalistic and moral low by presenting completely fabricated information about Rabbi Naumburg at prime time, with the full knowledge that the report was false and you were presenting the complete opposite of the Rabbi's words and intentions."

"Due to the fact that this is a strategy that you and the journalist mentioned above use over and over to harass my client and publish biased and misleading statements, my client is not satisfied by a weak apology. [My client] is demanding compensation for the intentional violation of its good name, which not only harmed it but its thousands of graduates and rabbis as well. With all due respect, there's a limit to journalistic lack of responsibility."

The letter concluded by stating that the academy is demanding that Channel 13 News and the journalist provide compensation of NIS 300,000 within seven days as well as broadcast a detailed apology on the channel's main newscast.