The Ministerial Committee for Legislation has approved a bill proposed by National Union Chairman MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh), that would make it possible to convict people of libeling groups of people, and not just individuals.
The committee’s approval makes it much more likely that the law will receive a majority in the Knesset plenum.
The need for the law became apparent after reservist soldiers who served in Jenin during Operation Defensive Shield filed a libel lawsuit against Muhammad Bakri, whose film “Jenin, Jenin” portrayed the IDF’s operation in Jenin as a massacre of innocents. Bakri admitted to falsifying facts in the film and to receiving funding from the Palestinian Authority.
The court determined that while the film does constitute libel, the Israeli law does not make it possible for a group to sue for libel – only for an individual.
Justice Minister Yaakov Ne’eman opposed the bill, saying that the Ministry’s professional staff wants to wait for the High Court’s decision in the case’s appeal before proposing legislation.