Sunday, January 1, 2023, 16:22 This morning (Sunday), the Jerusalem Magistrates Court awarded Yeshivat Homesh 100,000 NIS in a slander suit against Yisrael Frey, a journalist.
In January 2022, Rabbi Elishama Cohen, the head of Yeshivat Homesh, and Shmuel Wende, the administrator, filed a suit against Yisrael Frey for libel. Frey had posted a tweet on his Twitter account with a photograph of a broken Arab gravestone and claimed that "settlers from the criminal outpost Homesh attacked houses and destroyed gravestones."
Two days later, in an interview with Ben Caspit and Aryeh Eldad on Radio 103, Frey claimed that "only half a year ago, people from the area of Homesh grabbed a 14-year-old Palestinian youth from a nearby village, tied him to a tree, bound his hands together, and abused him for half an hour. I am describing the reality." Additionally, Frey claimed that "around Homesh, severe violence is directed at Palestinians. There is a lot of violence, including the violence mentioned in the statement of claim, abuse of local residents, gravestones shattered." Yeshivat Homesh filed an additional slander suit following Frey's statements in the interview.
The court that judged the libel and slander cases referred the sides to mediation. When the head of Yeshivat Homesh and the administrator arrived at the meeting, they were surprised that Frey was not present. After many attempts to reach Frey, he replied that he had not known about the meeting. However, his attorney had accepted the decision by the court to refer the sides to mediation. It should be noted that during a previous slander suit by Yeshivat Homesh against Frey, he illegally delayed the proceedings and was obligated to pay 1,500 NIS in expenses. Today, a hearing was held in the slander case filed following Frey's statements in a Radio 103 interview. Neither Frey nor a representative on his behalf appeared, and therefore the court ruled that Frey will pay Yeshivat Homesh 100,000 NIS and also pay 9,000 NIS in court costs.
Shmuel Wende, the administrator of Yeshivat Homesh stated, "Frey publicized and told completely baseless lies. After we sued him, he chose to disrespect the court and did not appear at hearings. Now, the time for payment has come. Whoever slanders, pays."
Honenu Attorney Menashe Yado stated, "Frey expresses himself in a manner that is shameful, dangerous, and unrestrained. This is the second time that he has not appeared in court for a hearing to which he was summoned. This time, the court decided to penalize him for his failure to appear by obligating him to pay the entire sum for which he was sued by Yeshivat Homesh for spreading lies."