Court defends film on Jenin offensive

Israel’s top court rejected a last-ditch bid by veterans of the Jenin offensive to sue a film that they say slanders the military.

A three-justice Supreme Court panel last week upheld a lower court’s decision, saying the plaintiffs could not satisfy the requirements of a libel suit, as they had not been personally identified in the film.

Five former soldiers who fought in the West Bank city in 2002 had tried to sue Mohammed Bakri, an Israeli-Arab actor and director, over his documentary “Jenin Jenin,” arguing that it falsely portrayed Palestinians being massacred and tortured.

“The film is indeed full and stuffed with things that are not true,” said Justice Miriam Naor. And Justice Yitzhak Amit, a fellow panel member, voiced “discomfort” with the ruling but appeared to side with artistic freedom. — jta