Poster from anti-haredi recruitment campaign
Poster from anti-haredi recruitment campaignNati Shohat/Flash 90

Captain Yehuda Glickman is a haredi officer who is responsible for the recruitment of haredim to the IDF. In recent months, he and his family have faced an ongoing barrage of personal attacks following the leaking of his personal details by agitators against haredi enlistment.

With his family facing a steady stream of harassment, Capt. Glickman hired a private investigator to track down the people responsible for the smear campaign against him.

The private investigator uncovered evidence against the leaders of the campaign, and now Glickman is suing them for damages amounting to 2.4 million shekels ($628,000).

Attorney Shlomi Weinberg, an expert on defamation who represents Capt. Glickman in his lawsuit, sat down with Arutz Sheva to explain the lawsuit and the thin line between freedom of expression and incitement.

"The last two years have been a difficult period for him and for his family and children. They suffered over the smear campaign a lot of telephone harassment, they lived under intimidation, and [they suffered] even more." Weinberg said.

He said that the smear campaign against Capt. Glickman included the distribution of leaflets and magazines in the haredi community against him, the publishing of cartoons depicting IDF recruitment officers as vicious hunters seeking to steal haredi youth away and turn them away from Judaism like missionaries. The proliferation of these books was very broad and spawned the harassment campaign."

Weinberg said that in this case there is a match between the ruling of the courts and the halachic ruling of the Jewish sage, the Chofetz Chaim, who referred to 'Loshon Hara' (spreading evil word about a person) as one of the greatest sins.

He added that Capt. Glickman continues to live a haredi lifestyle despite the harassmet and incitement against him, and that he received permission from haredi rabbis to file the lawsuit, as the rabbis agreed that the campaign against him has been carried out in a manner that violates the spirit of the Torah.

According to Weinberg, Glickman was compared to the evil Biblical figure Balaam and those who allegedly stole Yemenite children away from their parents in the 1950s.

Weinberg said that his client was seeking the large sum of 2.4 million shekels in damages to create a deterrent against similar harassment and incitement in the future. "This concern shows that we know that words can create incitement to violence. The lawsuit was filed that suspicion to stop the incitement campaign."