This is an appeal filed by Regev against the decision of the Magistrate’s Court, which rejected her claim regarding a series of publications concerning the hiring of the services of a senior advertiser for the purpose of publishing the “Not for August” project she initiated.
The Magistrate’s Court ruled that Ovadia’s claim that it was “an attempt to coordinate behind-the-scenes positions to transfer millions of shekels to an advertiser in an improper procedure, without a tender and contrary to legal recommendations,” was defamatory, but was defended by “responsible journalism.”
The composition of the District Court wrote in the judgment that “it is not disputed that the respondent (Sefi Ovadia – AG) conducted a proper investigation regarding the very existence of the recorded yeshiva. That the recording was handed over to him to substantiate this conclusion.As will be clarified below, this is not the case with regard to proving the claim that a proper journalistic investigation was conducted regarding the ‘flank’ claim, or that these statements added to the publications were made after receiving reliable and weighty sources. The fulfillment of the conditions of protection in the matter of “responsible journalism” is incumbent on those whose claim promotes their case. ”
The district court wrote that “the only evidence presented by the respondent in support of his testimony regarding the allegation of the connection between the appellant and Joshua was summarized in two records. “Apart from these records, the respondent did not present any record regarding the existence of meetings or conversations with sources.”
The judgment stated that “in this matter there is a shaky and lacking evidentiary infrastructure, and there was no room for a determination according to which a quality and proper investigation was indeed conducted regarding the claim regarding the existence of prior acquaintance or affiliation between the appellant and Joshua.”
The judgment further states that “the conclusion is that even if we did not reach the conclusion that the responsible journalistic protection was denied to the respondents in the circumstances due to not providing a reasonable and fair opportunity to respond to the publication, it should be stated that the publications were not based on quality “.
The advertisers close to the Likud
The “Not for August” project was shared by the Ministry of Culture and Sports and Toto, whose chairman served at the time. Allegedly since the project belonged to a government ministry its media promotion was supposed to be carried out by the Government Advertising Bureau (LPM) which handles all the advertising budgets of government ministries. , And even today, in the Toto advertising budget.
Budgets such as the Sports Betting Authority (Toto) or Mifal Hapayis are considered political budgets in the advertising industry, and indeed the Toto budget was handled by two of the advertisers whose orientation was considered Likud at the time: Glickman Shamir Samsonov, one of whose owners – Gil Samsonov – an associate of Likud and even a Likud member ; And Rami Yehoshua – whose name has previously been linked to senior Likud figures, including former Minister of Culture and Sports Regev Limor Livnat.
In addition, Yehoshua is considered close to the then chairman Tzachi Fishbein and the organization’s marketing director of the organization, Baruch Dagon. The win was normal.
Therefore, while Sefi Ovadia revealed the recordings of Miri Regev and her advisers, many assumed that, as with others in the Likud, Yehoshua had connections with Regev herself. Joshua reacted strongly by tying his name to Regev’s name on both Channel Ten and The Marker newspaper and sued News Ten for NIS 2 million for nothing bad.
The Marker apologized shortly after the announcement, and Joshua only sued Channel Ten. The lawsuit ended in a settlement and Channel Ten published a clarification that there was no prior acquaintance between Yehoshua and Sara Miri Regev.