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The court ruled: Hatzalah to pay MDA NIS 125,000 for defamation

CM 29/07/2021 2

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The court ruled that Hatzalah has to pay Magen David Adom (MDA) NIS 250,000 for defamation on Thursday.
In the 42-page-long verdict, the judge heavily criticized Hatzalah on multiple counts.
Referring to the fact that Hatzalah advertised its phone number in a way that is intentionally misleading, which could cause people to believe that they are the country’s official emergency first responders instead of MDA, the judge said that “it has been proven that Hatzalah ignored the Health Ministry’s instructions and continued to advertise its phone number. This action is dangerous and disrupts public peace.”
About the management of Hatzalah, “it’s about a series of harmful publications that were part of an organized campaign aimed at raising the awareness of the public to the services of Hatzalah through the use of defamation and the humiliation of MDA.”
After investigating events where Hatzalah reported MDA’s incompetence, it was discovered that the failures were on Hatzalah’s side. In the case of the death of a toddler at a daycare, the court ruled that “from investigations of the event in the daycare, it is evident that there were many failures at the hands of Hatzalah. Three minutes passed until Hatzalah’s center reported the event to MDA, and it arises that the Hatzalah unit did not have an oxygen mask for children. The defendants left out of the report that they got the call before MDA.”

Among other strong comments from the court, Hatzalah was reminded that it was started by people who live by the laws of the Torah. The court quoted the Rambam saying that defamation is among the worst sins to commit. 

In a statement MDA said that “the verdict speaks for itself, and we welcome the court’s ruling and are happy that the truth has finally come to light. We are sorry that it had to come to legal action, but we cannot abide by besmirching the good name of MDA and the good names of thousands of its employers and volunteers that work day and night to save lives.”  Source: Jerusalem Post

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