Israeli Activist faces Libel Suit

by The Israeli Peace Bloc

New historian Teddy Katz needs help.

Teddy Katz - a long-time peace activist, coming from his kibbutz to demonstrations in short trousers, summer and winter. This Teddy Katz , 57, didn't avoid finding out to whom had belonged the lands of his kibbutz before, and supported later struggles of the neighbouring Arab villages about the lands which were still theirs. Katz also had the energy to begin in his free time studying history at Haifa University.

In the past year he created a storm with his MA research which revealed what happened in the village of Tantura in 1948. It is another massacre story not so different from Deir Yassin. He interviewed the survivors in their refugee camps and succeeded also to let some of the perpetrator side speak, then fighters in the Alexandroni Brigade of the mainstream Hagana militia which later became the IDF - which means that unlike the case of Deir Yassin, this case cannot be blamed on "extremists".

After Katz's research became a national and international news item the Organization of Veterans of the Alexandroni Brigade started to fight him and put pressure on those of the members who had testified to deny that they ever told Katz any such things.

Katz, who recorded all the interviews now faces a libel suit (the demand: a million dollars for the harm!) and needs a good lawyer, plus a lot of extra work to be done by himself - collecting from his scientific material what is relevant and making it accessible to the legal system and the media.

It is a precedent-setting case. Never before was an Israeli academic sued for the content of his research. Should Katz lose, it would be a severe blow not only to himself; it would put at risk any historian who tries to uncover uncomfortable truths about the recent history of our country.

This struggle Teddy Katz,, who already paid a price with his health, can not go alone. We have decided to do what we can and decided that the first thing is addressing all supporters and sympathizers which we can get to (and we hope for the snowball effect) to raise the money which he needs for this struggle. This struggle, is not just his struggle; it is the struggle which we are all in, at the most sensitive heart of it.

You can donate by sending cash or a check to Gush Shalom, pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033, Israel or (for credit-card owners) you can donate online - especially attractive for small sums. Just click:

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