Rabbi rejects Otzma demand to apologize for Nazi comparison

A prominent rabbi who compared the policies of the far-right Otzma Yehudit to those of Nazi Germany’s says he will not apologize for his remarks as demanded by the party to avoid a lawsuit.

In a letter sent through his lawyers, Rabbi Benny Lau says he “rejects all that was stated in your letter, including your demands for compensation and a public apology.”

“The rabbi’s statements are part of legitimate, important and necessary public discourse,” the letter says.

Lau’s attorneys say Otzma has no “legal or factual basis” to demand NIS 100,000 ($27,700) in damages and an apology from Lau.

In a Saturday sermon, Lau railed against the extremist party, saying Otzma’s policies were akin to Nazi Germany’s anti-Semitic Nuremberg Laws.

In response, Otzma candidate Itamar Ben Gvir threatened to sue Lau for defamation unless he apologized and paid the party NIS 100,000 in damages.

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