The Tel Aviv Magistrate Court ruled against the journalist Yigal Sarna this morning, after Prime Minister Netanyahu had sued him for a slanderous March 2016 Facebook post directed against himself and his wife, Sara.
The court ruled that Sarna is to compensate the Prime Minister and his wife a total of 100 thousand shekels; 60 thousand in compensation to the PM and 40 thousand to Sara. In addition, Sarna was ordered to pay 15 thousand shekels to the couple as compensation for legal expenses.
Judge Azariya Alkali ruled, “The defendant [Sarna], as he himself admits, set a goal of criticizing the claimants [Binyamin and Sara Netanyahu] and their conduct. This he chose to do by slandering their name using colorful language and harsh imagery some of which, due to its harshness and ugliness, manifests extraneous opinion and criticism under the guise of freedom of speech, while the case at hand involves slander and not opinion, aspiring to describe a situation that transpired which has not been proven to be true,” he wrote.
The Prime Minister praised the ruling. “Finally, justice has been done,” he said.
Sarna has indicated his intention to appeal the decision. He lamented "the general silencing descending upon us," and said that the ruling was "expected in these dark times."