Ben-Gvir sues Liberman over 'Shin Bet' comments

Otzma candidate sues for 250,000 shekels Yisrael Beytenu chairman for suggesting he is a Shin Bet agent. 'He slandered - he must pay.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Flash 90

As promised: Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir is demanding compensation to the amount of a quarter of a million shekels from MK Avigdor Liberman. The move follows Liberman's statements suggesting that Ben-Gvir was a Shin Bet agent.

In an interview with the “Dekel V’Segal” program on Reshet Bet last Thursday, former defense minister MK Avigdor Liberman said he wondered whether Ben-Gvir was "a kind of Champagne," referring to the code name of former Shin Bet undercover provocateur Avishai Raviv. Ben-Gvir warned Liberman that if he did not apologize within 48 hours for his words, he would be sued in court.

This morning, Sunday, Ben-Gvir fulfilled his promise and filed a claim in the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court for a quarter of a million shekels against Liberman, after the latter did not retract his words.

The indictment cites the words of Justice Oded Shaham, who ruled in favor of Attorney Ben-Gvir in a similar case 20 years ago, when another person called Ben-Gvir "a Shin Bet agent." Shaham ruled that even though this is a term that might appear to some in the public as positive, there are groups for whom it may be perceived as negative: "The statements according to which the plaintiff acts as an agent of the Shin Bet in the group in which he is living, creates a false impression, acts to discredit those belonging to the political camp to which he appears to belong, and creates provocations to undermine its members, are defamatory with regard to the members of that group.”

“Even if the claim is correct that there are in the public those who view such attributions as desirable, this does not indicate a contradiction between public norms and recognition of the cause for suit in this case."

The lawsuit also claims that Liberman's claims are ridiculous and that Attorney Ben-Gvir fought against the torture of “Hilltop Youth” by the Shin Bet’s “Jewish Department” at a time when Liberman was part of the coalition that approved the torture.

Ben-Gvir said this morning: "I understand that Avigdor Liberman is under pressure. He sees the polls showing that he does not pass the electoral threshold, and understands that his voters flock to vote for the Unification of Right-Wing Parties. But there are things that should not be said; To hint that I am an agent of the Shin Bet is more serious than to assert that Liberman is a KGB agent. This morning I filed a lawsuit in the Jerusalem Magistrate's Court for a quarter of a million shekels against Liberman, who must learn: He slandered - he must pay."