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Publisher to pay damages for 'false Nazi doctor' book claim

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image captionThe allegations related to protests in 2014 outside Kedem over cosmetics made in Israel

A publisher is to pay undisclosed damages to a pro-Israel group leader for printing "seriously defamatory" allegations about him.

The Random House Group published a book in 2017 in which it claimed Raphael Bloom had led a "campaign of harassment and intimidation" against a pro-Palestinian activist in 2017.

One of the false claims was that he called a GP a "Nazi doctor", London's High Court was told.

The publisher has offered an apology.

Mr Bloom is co-chairman of the North West Friends of Israel.

The claims in the 2017 book - Al-Britannia, My Country by James Fergusson - related to protests in 2014 by "pro-Palestinian" groups outside Manchester's Kedem shop, which sells cosmetic products made in Israel, Mr Bloom's counsel, William Bennett, said.

False allegations

The book alleged that Mr Bloom was responsible for "a campaign of harassment and intimidation" against a pro-Palestinian activist.

Mr Bennett said his client "led a counter-protest in his capacity as the co-chairman of the North West Friends of Israel".

Mr Fergusson's book incorrectly claimed that Mr Bloom had engaged in "a campaign of harassment and intimidation against a female GP who was active in the protests supporting the boycott of goods sold by Kedem", Mr Bennett added.

He said the book wrongly stated that Mr Bloom was "responsible for threatening and abusive phone calls to the GP's home and practice, that during one of those calls the GP was called a Nazi doctor, and that the police had warned Mr Bloom to desist from such behaviour".

Mr Bennett said the allegations were "false" and had caused "significant consternation".

Adam Wolanski, for Random House, said his client "offers its sincere apologies to Mr Bloom".

Related Topics

  • Israel
  • Manchester