A doctor who told the world that a symbol of the second intifada was a fake — and was sued for his statement — is an Israeli hero, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday.
Netanyahu phoned Dr. Yehuda David personally to congratulate him upon his acquittal in the French Supreme Court on Wednesday after he’d won an appeal after being found guilty of libeling Jamal Dura.
Dura and his 12-year-old son, Muhammad, were caught in a crossfire exchange between the IDF and Palestinian forces at Netzarim junction in Gaza in September 2000. The son was killed, and the father was hospitalized with injuries. Dura sued David, a doctor at Sheba Hospital, for claiming that the injuries on his body were sustained not from IDF fire in that incident but years earlier, as a result of an attack by Hamas operatives.
A lower court in France ruled for Dura, but the country’s Supreme Court overruled that verdict.
Netanyahu cited David’s outstanding IDF service record, saying “not only has he fought for Israel on the military battlefield, he has also fought on the public diplomacy battlefield in the great battle for the truth…. This mendacious story caused more damage to the state of Israel than any other account in recent years, more than any other libel, and Dr. David set out to puncture this lie with the truth.”
Netanyahu said awarding David compensation to cover his legal costs would be on the agenda of the next cabinet meeting. “He won and his victory is a victory for us all,” he said.