“There was a $5 million bounty on my head,” said Rebecca Rum, who was the victim of a vicious BDS campaign that triggered death threats against her.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
A 26-year-old former Israeli soldier is suing the BDS activist who launched a viral fake news campaign against her, the organization that is representing her in court said Wednesday.
“In June 2018, Rebecca Rum woke up to find herself the target of a viral BDS shaming campaign. Her phone and social media were bombarded with hate messages in multiple languages calling her a murderer and a trained Nazi,” the Shurat HaDin Law Center said in a statement on its Facebook page.
“I received thousands of threats. Even a $5 million bounty for my head,” Rum said. “My friends and family messaged me, saying they were receiving these hate messages and threats too. They were very upset and afraid for my safety. I felt like someone had really intruded on my privacy, my world.”
The fake news tsunami was triggered by an American BDS influencer named Suhair Nafal, who accused Rum of shooting a Palestinian nurse on the Gaza border. Posts from BDS Facebook pages and Twitter accounts were shared tens of thousands of times. The lies about Rebecca reached close to 2 million social media users.
Rum joined the IDF in 2012 and served in the Education and Youth Corps. Two years into her service, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit asked her to participate in a social media explanatory campaign; she gladly accepted. The photo posted to the IDF’s official Facebook page shows her smiling in full uniform and holding an M-16.
Nafal posted the first false Facebook post in which she accused Rum of joining the IDF to participate in the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. Nafal then then juxtaposed Rebecca’s picture with Razan Al-Najjar, a Palestinian nurse shot during the riots at the Gaza border with Israel, insinuating Rebecca was a “sniper” who killed Al Najjar.
The Freedom for Gaza Facebook page altered the post and shared it with more than 100K of its followers with a new post that explicitly accused Rebecca of being a “trained killer” who “executed a 21-year-old Palestinian nurse in Gaza”. The post was shared nearly 15K times.
However, not only was Rebecca never stationed at the Gaza border, she wasn’t even in active service at the time of the incident.
“Rebecca’s nightmare is yet another painful example of the anti-Israel BDS mob’s violent and destructive nature,” Shurat HaDin said. “It spares no one from its campaign to delegitimize Israel. This time they targeted Rebecca with lies, anti-Semitism, and hate. Next time someone else’s daughter or son will wake up to the same nightmare.”
The Jerusalem-based organization will represent Rum in a $6 million lawsuit seeking damages from Nafal.
“Fighting BDS is more than defending Israel. It’s championing the truth against conspiracies and lies. It’s fighting to ensure those who conspire to spread hate and disinformation are punished, and that their victims receive justice,” the organization said.
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