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Lawfare Suit Hits A BDS Member Where It Hurts (Part 2)

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Suhail Nafal first posted in 2018 at Facebook a photograph of Rebecca Rum, in her IDF uniform, next to a photograph of Razan al-Najar, who was killed while attending one of those violent demonstrations at Israel’s security fence known collectively as the Great March of Return. After someone discovered what Nafal already knew – that the photo of Rum had been taken from an IDF Facebook post from 2014 – she decided to deny the obvious.

In a subsequent post, Nafal clarified that she was not accusing Rum of murdering Al-Najar; she argued in all capital letters that the post was only meant to serve as a “comparison.”

But she had been, despite her denial, accusing Rum of murdering Razan Al-Najar. What else would anyone think she meant, in juxtaposing a photo of Rebecca Rum – identified by name – with a photo of Razan Al-Najar? The Israeli murderer, next to her sweetly-smiling Palestinian victim. And what did Nafal mean when she later claimed that the original post was meant to serve only as a “comparison”? What “comparison” was being made? Clearly, it was supposed to be between a militarized Israeli girl, in her IDF uniform, trained to wantonly kill innocent Palestinians “peacefully protesting,” and a Palestinian girl who only wanted to heal others, a veritable Florence Nightingale or Clara Barton of Gaza, treating those innocent, non-violent protesters. Those “innocent non-violent protesters,” let’s remember, have for more than two years been throwing Molotov cocktails, and other explosives of all kinds, at Israelis, and let loose explosive balloons and incendiary kites into Israel’s skies to set fire to thousands of hectares of farmland. And if Nafal’s intent in putting up Rum’s photograph side-by-side with that of Al-Najar was this meretricious “comparison,” that posting still constituted defamation of Rum, for she impliedly presented Rum as someone trained as a killer, instead of what she was, a young woman fulfilling her duty of national service to defend her homeland.

Nafal proceeded to blame those who “don’t read English very well misunderstood & misinterpreted my post.”

No, there was no “misunderstanding” or “misinterpreting” Nafal’s original post on Facebook. It was designed to show a uniformed Rebecca Rum – identified by name – as the Israeli killer of the Palestinian Razan al-Najar. The post was designed to hold up Al-Najar as a heroine, and Rebecca Rum either as her killer, or as belonging to the class of wanton Israeli killers of the “peaceful” protesting Palestinians.

However, she accused Rum of being “complicit” in the killing of Al-Najar, and called Rum “a terrorist who made the choice to leave the US & go to a land to which she has zero ties specifically to murder the indigenous people of that land.”

How could Rebecca Rum have been “complicit” in the death of al-Najar? She had been out of the IDF in 2015, while Razan al- Najar died in 2018. Most likely, Nafal believes that all Israelis – and probably all Jews – are “complicit” in the death of al-Najar. Collective guilt for the perfidious Jews. How is Rum a “terrorist”? Has she taken part in, promoted, sanctioned, praise any act of terror by anyone? Never. She did not move to “a land to which she has zero ties.” Rebecca Rum is Jewish, and knows that the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people is the Land of Israel, where there has been a continuous Jewish presence for more than 3000 years. That is where religion of Judaism was born; that is where the Jewish people were formed. All their holy sites are located there: the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, Rachel’s Tomb, Joseph’s Tomb, the Tombs of the Patriarchs. It’s where the four holy cities of Judaism are located: Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed, Tiberias.

Compare those more than 3000 years of Jewish history with the recently-invented “Palestinian people,” many of whom arrived in Israel within the last century, attracted by the economic opportunities that the Jewish pioneers created. Dr. Mordechai Kedar notes that many of the Arabs in “Palestine” are not originally Palestinians at all. They are immigrants who came to the Land of Israel from all over the Arab world during the British Mandate in order to find employment in the cities and on the farms the Jews had built. These immigrants still have names like Hourani (from Houran in southern Syria), Tzurani (from Tyre in southern Lebanon), Zrakawi (from Mazraka in Jordan), Masri (the Egyptian), Hijazi (from the Hijaz province of the Arabian peninsula), Mughrabi (from the Maghreb), and many other names that point to their true geographical origins.

Note too, as part of the “defamation” of Rebecca Rum, Nafal describes her as moving to Israel in order “specifically to murder the indigenous people of that land.”

According to Suhail Nafal, Rum went to Israel for one reason: not to live a Jewish life in the resurrected Jewish commonwealth of Israel, but solely in order to “murder” the Palestinians, who had a real claim – unlike the false claim of the Jews – to the land.

The complaint [by Rebecca Rum’s lawyers] alleges that Nafal’s posts caused Rum and her family and friends to be subjected to “hate messages and death threats,” as myriad threats called for “retaliation against [Rum] and her entire family.” Such threats occurred for “months,” as recently as this past July [that is, from 2018 to 2020], the complaint stated.

Furthermore, the complaint pointed out that about a week after Nafal’s posts, Rum visited Greece to teach English to refugees. One refugee accused her of being a “traitor” for “killing a Palestinian” and threatened another refugee who was teaching Arabic to Rum.

Rum suffers from fibromyalgia, a condition that can cause muscular pain, lack of sleep, fatigue and depression, among other symptoms. The hate she received following Nafal’s posts exacerbated her fibromyalgia to become “severe,” according to the complaint, as stress is a trigger for fibromyalgia symptoms.

The complaint argued that Nafal’s original post was defamatory because it created the false perception that Rum was responsible for Al-Najar’s death and that Nafal did not make any effort in that initial post to clearly state that Rum did not kill Al-Najar.

Rum had been out of the IDF for three years by then and was nowhere near the Gaza border at the time of Al-Najar’s death, the complaint said.

“[Nafal] could have easily published a disclaimer or caption with the picture saying that [Rum] was not the person responsible for Al-Najar’s death,” the complaint stated. “[Nafal], however, chose instead to not protect [Rum], electing instead to further sensationalize the incident in her aim to attack the state of Israel.”

Because of Nafal’s posts, Rum has suffered “irreparable damage to her reputation” and fears for her life as well as the lives of her friends and family, the complaint added. Consequently, she is seeking $6 million in damages.

The complaint also acknowledged that while California law puts the statute of limitations for defamation at one year, Israeli law has a seven-year statute of limitations. The complaint argued that California should follow Israeli law in this matter given Rum’s dual citizenship.

Nafal is a California resident, according to the complaint.

Nafal knowingly posted a photo of Rebecca Rum in her IDF uniform side-by-side with a photo of Razan al-Najar, who was killed while participating with thousands of other Palestinians in an attempt, organized and led by the terror group Hamas, to breach Israel’s security fence. She knew perfectly well that Rum had nothing to do with the death of al-Najar; she had left the IDF in 2015, three years before al-Najar died. Yet Nafal did not add to her post the simple disclaimer that Rum had had nothing to do with al-Najar’s death, thereby leaving both Rebecca Rum and members of her family the targets of many death threats. The stress of these threats has led to a worsening of Rum’s fibromyalgia, a condition that can cause muscular pain, lack of sleep, fatigue, and depression. Rebecca Rum and her family members still live with the fear created by those threats.

If Rebecca Rum wins her lawsuit, and Suhail Nafal learns that she must pay her millions that she does not have, one of two good things could happen. Either Nafal will face financial ruin for the rest of her life, or she will have to escape to the Middle East, possibly to Gaza, where American justice cannot reach her. Both are awful outcomes, and will teach Suhail Nafal, and other obsessed BDSers, some of whom may now worry about being sued themselves for “defamation” in their anti-Israel postings, a lesson. To wit: the wheels of justice grind exceeding slow, but they do grind.

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