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Draft law would allow Israelis to sue for defamation on behalf of the army

On Israeli Independence Day Israel’s population reached 8,018,000 last month. Soon, all 8,018,000 Israelis may be able to sue anyone else for “defaming” the Israeli army.

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation, which decides what proposed laws the governing coalition will support, approved a draft law that permits any individual to sue for damages — on behalf of the Israeli army. The law is named after the film Jenin Jenin, which was also the center of a long legal battle over defamation. The plaintifs, IDF reserve soldiers lost the suit because they were not personally defamed.

The possible dangers the law poses, however, could be endless. Anyone who is critical of the army or its actions could find themselves facing lawsuits, regardless of whether there is any merit. It is easy to imagine how the law could be abused to silence critics and dissenters.

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