The LGBT community chalks up another victory when the highly unusual story which it had been handling recently came to an end. After suing the entire community, right-wing journalist and reality star Menachem Ben lost his case on Monday when the Israeli court decided to dismiss the lawsuit filed against the LGBT community, demanding a million NIS. The lawsuit came to an end after the court dismissed the case and the matter was closed.
In December 2014, Menachem Ben published a column in Walla! NEWS entitled “Against the Homosexual Criminality Wave”, in which he called on the State of Israel to take measures to prevent the spread of the phenomenon of homosexuality. The community was outraged, called out Menachem and his statements and took measures against him.
The opinionated journalist decided to return fire, and in a very unusual move filed a lawsuit against the gay community for a total of a million shekels, claiming that because of the community he lost his job.
However, it’s not that easy to sue for a million shekels, and if you demand such an amount in Israel, you have to pay a fee of two and a half precent, that is, NIS 25,000 – unless you manage to convince the court that your lawsuit is justified enough, or that you do not have the money to pay the fee.
Ben tried to sue, but after the court dismissed two attempts (and even ordered him to pay NIS 6,000 to the Aguda if he continued to bring these lawsuits) – Ben announced that he had no ability to pay the amount. Therefore, the Court’s senior registrar, Avi Cohen, informed Menachem Ben that the case was closed.
The lawyers representing the Aguda in the process, Hagai Kalai and Ohad Rosen, said in response: “This lawsuit is groundless and baseless; the word ‘bizarre’ does mercy to it, and it was dismissed at law, and rightly so.”
Imri Kalmann, co-chairman of the Aguda, said: “A year ago we were happy to win in the media sector against Menachem Ben, when we asked that his dangerous LGBTphobic article be removed, and it eventually was. Now, we are happy to win again, this time in the legal arena, after the Court Registrar ordered the dismissal of his hallucinatory prosecution against the LGBT community. We hope not to meet him in other areas and hope that our message has penetrated deeply, to him and to others who think that there is a place for LGBTphobia in Israel.”