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Israel Academia Monitor - Court Case and Request for Support

Editorial Note

IAM has reported in August 2013 and again in April 2014, on Dr. Amos Goldberg, a Hebrew University scholar of the Institute of Contemporary Jewry, "[HUJ Amos Goldberg] Critical Studies Find Converts among Holocaust Studies Scholars: What do Taxpayers Pay For?".  Goldberg co-authored an article which compared the Holocaust and the Nakba. The article was published in the Journal of Genocide Studies which gave this comparison an academic legitimacy. One of the goals of IAM has been to document the writings of radical Israeli scholars who push to create the regrettable equivalence between the Holocaust and the Nakba (Catastrophe), a reference which Palestinians use to describe the 1948 War. Portraying the Israel Defense Force as a Nazi-like army has been very popular among radical academics who seek to delegitimize the State of Israel. 

The IAM post was accompanied by an illustrative picture, taken in 2010, of Goldberg participating in a demonstration with a group of anarchists and confronting the police.  IAM credited the blogger Shahaf Pilovitz 
for the picture and added a hyperlink to the forum where it appeared. 

Two years later photographer Abir Sultan and the photo agency Flash 90 sued IAM over copyright infringement of the photo, requesting its immediate removal and compensation.  Last week, after two years of court proceedings, IAM has lost the lawsuit and is now ordered to pay NIS 40,000.  The plaintiff claimed that the picture contained a hyperlink leading to the original report which shows that Flash 90 holds the copyright for the picture. The Judge, without checking if this is true, accepted this false claim.  In reality, the photograph did not contain such a hyperlink near it. 

It should be noted that according to the Israeli law, it is permissible to use a picture without permission if the picture is used for research and inquiry, which is what IAM has been doing. In court, IAM also claimed to be an "innocent infringer" because of crediting Pilovich who seemed to be the owner of the picture. IAM even provided a prior exchange with Pilovich who gave IAM permission to use his material. Now IAM has to fight for the truth to come out.

Over the years IAM has worked hard to expose the writings of radical Israeli academics which delegitimize Israel in many different ways.  The scholars-activists have compared Israel to a colonial state, apartheid state, and above all to a Nazi state.  Even by the low-standards of morals equivalence, to imply that the Palestinians have been subjected to a genocidal campaign like the Jews of Europe is beyond the pale.

IAM would like to appeal against this ruling. It is important to raise funds for this effort as IAM should not bear the burden alone. We are about to start a crowdfunding campaign, and will notify our readers once its operating. Please support IAM with any donation great or small. Thanks so much for your support.

The picture which accompanied the IAM post before it was taken down.


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