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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Bar Refaeli sues Yediot for libel

Israeli-born model Bar Refaeli has filed a lawsuit against Yediot Aharonot, Israel's highest circulation daily newspaper and the Hebrew parent of YNet, charging the paper with libeling her by publishing an interview headlined "Bar Refaeli against the State of Israel"

Hat Tip: Mere Rhetoric (who has several videos of her for those who are so inclined)
Rafaeli's lawyers sent a letter to the newspaper's editorial office demanding it apologize for the headline and compensate her for personal damages at a sum of half a million shekels.

In the interview, Rafaeli was quoted as saying, "Why is it good to die for our country? Isn't it better to live in New York?" She was also quoted as saying, "What does it does matter, Uganda or Israel," as well as, "I am not sorry for not serving in the army, because I profited in a big way," and "I'll never bring a celebrity to Israel because they have chutzpah here like nowhere else in the world."

Her comments were published in newspapers in Israel and around the world. A few days later Yedioth published an article claiming "Now Bar is slandering Israel abroad," in reference to an interview Rafaeli gave to the fashion magazine Tattler.

Rafaeli's lawyer Dror Arad Alon sent a letter to Yedioth claiming that the newspaper published "false, tendentious and malicious quotes which lack connection to Rafaeli's comments."

Arad-Alon went on to say in the letter that Rafaeli's comments were disseminated throughout the media "representing Rafaeli in a ludicrous and poisonous way, essentially abandoning her to public fury for no reason." He added that the Yedioth article "initiated and encouraged a media and public lynch of Bar Rafaeli after she was wickedly manipulated by the newspaper's reporter and editors."

It will be interesting to see whether Refaeli is as big an airhead as Yediot made her out to be. Can she prove that she didn't say those things? Or does the reporter have it on tape? You will note that there is no claim that she either served in (or did not try to evade service in) the army or did not briefly marry the family friend mentioned in the first article. Heh.


At 8:18 PM, Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

Carl, what's the general Israeli law on slander and libel? Is it similar to American law in which truth is an affirmative defense to slander or libel?

Seems to me that if she did say those things, it's just too bad if she doesn't like them being quoted and published. That just reflects that facet of the Western neo-liberal mindset that resents held accountable for one's actions or inactions.

At 9:06 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Not my field, but as far as I know truth is a defense.


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