A judge ruled on Thursday that ex-Tiveria Mayor Ron Kobi and two of his relatives must pay Dovid Ohana, the Degel HaTorah chairman in Tiveria, NIS 52,000 in compensation for defamation.
Kobi gained notoriety for his war against Chareidim and religion while serving as mayor of Tiveria, a position from which he was eventually ousted due to his incompetence and obsession with railing against Chareidim.
Ohana, a member of the Tiveria city council, filed a lawsuit against Kobi and his brother and sister-in-law for publishing false defamatory information about him on various social media outlets.
According to a Yisrael Hayom report, Ohana stated in his lawsuit that Kobi obsessively engaged in publishing multiple false libelous claims about him over an extended period of time.
The libelous claims were published daily, several times a day, on a large number of social media channels, from Israel and abroad, and included accusations in print, photos and videos. Most of the defamatory material was published on a Facebook group with 13,500 members run by Kobi’s brother and sister-in-law.
The judge wrote in the ruling that “the impression obtained from the case is that the publications portrayed the plaintiff as a corrupt man who embezzles public funds and enriches himself at their expense. The publications claimed that the plaintiff is guilty of criminal charges, among them serious charges of forgery and fraud…corruption, deceit, and shady business dealings.”
“The ads also portrayed the plaintiff as someone who threatens others, uses funds in illegal ways and raises property tax in illegal ways, etc….these were calculated acts of a series of publications intended to convince the audience that the plaintiff is corrupt, a thief, and involved in criminal business dealings.”
Attorney Ron Levintal, who represented Ohana, told Yisrael Hayom: “We believe that the sum does not reflect the damage and is not a sufficient deterrent in the case of Ron Kobi, who used these libelous publications for election purposes only, with complete indifference to the results. Therefore, an appeal will be filed in the coming days regarding the amount and the fact that it has not been determined that the publications were used intentionally to harm the plaintiff.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)