A young Israeli man from the town of Alfei Menashe is facing threats from the internationally-funded far-Left group Peace Now over a domain name. The man, Ariel Rofe, told Arutz 7 that he had registered the domain name “Shalom Achshav,” Peace Now’s Hebrew name, in Hebrew letters, under a new program that allows non-Latin characters to be used as internet addresses. Peace Now had not expressed interest in the name, preferring to use its English name as the domain name for its Hebrew-language site.
When Peace Now organizers realized that the Hebrew-language domain name was taken, however, they responded with anger, and threats of a lawsuit, Rofe said.
“I paid [for the name] and within a few days I got a letter from a lawyer saying that if I did not cancel the sale within 72 hours, that is, by Sabbat hmorning – an interesting time for a threat – the lawyers’ office hired by the organization would recommend suing me,” he recalled.
The letter Rofe received warned that if he attempted to fight Peace Now in court, the group will sue him for court fees.
At first Rofe considered giving in, but after rereading the letter, he realized that Peace Now was retaining the right to sue him even if he accepted its demands. At that point, he said, he sought professional help, and finally found it thanks to Land of Israel activist and parliamentary aide Itamar Ben-Gvir.
The attorney Ben-Gvir found told Rofe that legal precedent was on his side. In addition, no one group can claim the rights to the concept of “shalom” (peace), he said.
When asked why he originally purchased the name, Rofe explained that he had planned to set up a site revealing Peace Now’s behavior to the Israeli public and demonstrating “how much they harm the state.” He did not manage to set up the site he had imagined, and instead made a memorial to Rabbi Meir Kahane, he said.
While he did not manage to expose Peace Now in the manner he had originally planned, the group’s behavior has served the same ends, he said. The official reaction to his purchase shows “the extent to which they aren’t exactly acting peacefully,” he said.
Peace Now has faced controversy over its funding, much of which is supplied by foreign governments, and over its use of surveillance cameras, which led to an investigation for possible espionage. In 2008 the Knesset passed a law requiring the group, along with similar organizations, to publicize the funding it gets from foreign governments.
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