Bill protecting IDF from slander passes first Knesset reading

( People and groups who slander the Israel Defense Forces may find themselves facing lawsuits, according to an amendment to Israel’s libel law that passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset on Wednesday.

IDF soldiers. Credit: IDF.

MK Yoni Chetboun (Habayit Hayehudi) initiated the bill in response to the film “Jenin Jenin,” which falsely accused the IDF of massacring Palestinians during the 2002 IDF operation at the Jenin refugee camp, Israel Hayom reported.

The bill says Israel’s detractors—among them activists seeking divestments from or boycotts against Israel—have felt free to engage in slander “because they are aware that no legal proceedings would be taken against them.” Current Israeli libel law does not allow for slander lawsuits to be filed against “the general public” without first being approved by Israel’s attorney general, but the new proposal would make the IDF “a separate entity from the greater Israeli public, which would allow for the filing of a lawsuit for defamation of the Israel Defense Forces.”

Posted on May 23, 2013 .