The heads of the Otzma Yehudit party, Dr. Michael Ben-Ari and Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir, have demanded 100,000 NIS and an apology from Rabbi Benny Lau for what he had said against them.
In a letter to Rabbi Lau, Attorney Ben-Gvir wrote, “The statements that you published are clearly libelous and deeply insulting to us. And the comparison of Jews loyal to the State of Israel, the Land of Israel and the People of Israel to Nazis is crossing a red line. The Nazis had exterminated six million Jews in the Holocaust and had attempted to exterminate the Jews of the entire world because they were Jews, under the direction of race theory. Otzma Yehudit is a state-loyal movement that works to advance the national interests of the State of Israel and the People of Israel and the comparison is absolutely unacceptable.”
The letter quotes former Supreme Court Justice Ayala Procaccia who wrote harsh remarks about the comparison of Jews to the Nazis, in the context of another suit filed by Ben-Gvir against left-winger Amnon Danker, “The concept of ‘Nazi’ in post-war era and the Holocaust of the European Jewry expresses the embodiment of the animal in man to a civilized man. It reflects, in the eyes of a Jew, wherever he may be, the depths of which hatred of man may come from a dark racist background, and the source of the terrible human tragedy that the Jewish people suffered a few decades ago.”
This morning Otzma Yehudit said, “Freedom of expression is a fundamental right in a democratic state, but freedom of expression also has its limits. The harsh words of Rabbi Benny Lau blatantly crossed those boundaries. The comparison of Jews to the Nazis is unacceptable and cheapens the Holocaust and the attack on six million Jews who were slaughtered. Rabbi Lau must know that his blatant remarks have implications and therefore we appealed to him for financial compensation and a public apology.”