Israeli graduates of Harvard University who studied with Wexner Foundation scholarships on Tuesday filed a NIS 1 million (roughly $300,000) defamation lawsuit against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son Yair.
Among the plaintiffs Res. Generals Amos Yedlin and Noam Tibon, former State Attorney Moshe Lador, former Shin Bet legal counsel Eli Bachar, former Police Internal Affairs chief Uri Carmel, former senior state prosecutor Avia Alef, Res. Lieutenant Generals Assaf Orion, Avi barber and Oded Gur-Lavi, and media expert Alon Ben David.
The lawsuit is being filed in response to a series of tweets from the prime minister’s son, in which, according to plaintiffs, he defamed them, called them cult members, and called for them not to be employed in the public service, saying “there is a suspicion” that the Wexner Foundation broke the law.
In one of the tweets, dated June 17, 2020, the Prime Minister’s son shared an article on the Mida website that attacked the funding of Harvard’s studies for Israelis by the Wexner Foundation and added:
“A proposed bill that will solve 97% of Israel’s existential problems: a graduate of the Wexner Foundation of the pedophile (referring to Jeffrey Epstein – DI) is not allowed to accept any position as a public servant who receives his salary from the taxpayer. Not in the courts, not in the police, not in the army or in the prosecutor’s office and not in any other civil service position.”
— Yair Netanyahu ?? (@YairNetanyahu) June 17, 2020
According to the plaintiffs, Netanyahu Jr. published “non-coincidental” posts “intended to advance his interests and establish in the public consciousness that the foundation-sponsored graduates are ‘cult members’ who are bad and unfit for public service and are trying to bring about a coup d’état.” They claim that his tweets were widely circulated and damaged their good name.
In another tweet, the plaintiffs claim, Yair Netanyahu called the foundation’s graduates a “pedophile cult.” The lawsuit states that this tweet was deleted by Netanyahu Jr. who later clarified in another tweet that he had referred only to Jeffrey Epstein.
The plaintiffs note that they were selected to study at Harvard in a joint proceeding of the Civil Service Commission and the Wexner Foundation.
A response issued on Yair Netanyahu’s behalf and published by Ynet stated: “The delusional and ridiculous silencing demands do not even cause Yair to yawn.”
Speaking of yawning, last March, Yair Netanyahu was found guilty by the Tel Aviv District Court which ruled he had to pay a quarter of a million shekels to former Walla editor Avi Alkalay, after sharing on social media that Alkalay is a Wexner Foundation plant within the Walla system working against his father, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This time, Yair sued and won (Chauffeur Who Secretly Taped Yair Netanyahu’s Shameful Chat to Pay 30,000 Shekel).