The Jewish Chronicle has agreed to pay £30,000 in damages, plus costs, to a man wrongly accused of “harbouring” terrorists.
In a letter printed on 7 November last year, the paper published allegations that Raphael Cohen “was discovered harbouring two suicide bombers five days before they blew up the Tel Aviv bar”.
The attack in question, at Mike’s Bar in April 2003, killed three people, and injured more than 50 others.
Cohen is a member of the International Solidarity Movement, which, according to its website, is a “Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using non-violent, direct-action methods and principles”. He is a British citizen, but lives in Cairo.
In the high court today, Cohen’s solicitor, Stephen Loughrey from Carter-Ruck, said: “Particularly through its use of the words ‘discovered’ and ‘harbouring’, the letter suggested that the claimant was knowingly involved in that atrocious crime.
“In fact, as the defendant now accepts, the claimant did not ‘harbour’ the bombers. He met them briefly and by chance at a memorial ceremony for Rachel Corrie, an International Solidarity Movement volunteer, which was held five days before the bombing.
“However, he did not know them and he certainly had no idea, or grounds to suspect, that they planned such an attack.
“The defendant has already published a full and prominent apology on the pages of The Jewish Chronicle, and has undertaken never to publish allegations of this kind concerning the claimant at any time in the future.
“In addition, it has agreed to pay the claimant a substantial sum by way of damages together with his legal costs.”
Afterwards, Cohen said: “I am delighted by today’s result. The allegation published by The Jewish Chronicle was completely untrue. I am pleased that I have been able to clear my name and that The Jewish Chronicle has apologised.”
Cohen said he was donating “a substantial proportion” of his damages to charity.
The apology appeared on 12 December last year.