A Yerushalayim civil court on Monday awarded right-wing attorney Itamar Ben Gvir NIS 200,000 in damages, to be paid by a worker in a gas station convenience store who greeted him with a Nazi-style salute. Ben Gvir said that the penalty was a just one and well-deserved, as the gas station worker was guilty not just of insulting him, but of “cheapening the Holocaust.”
The incident that set off a lawsuit by Ben Gvir against the worker and his employer took place in August 2017, when the attorney filled up at a gas station in Tel Aviv. As his car was filling up, Ben Gvir entered a convenience store attached to the station to get a soft drink. The worker behind the counter, apparently recognizing Ben Gvir and apparently disagreeing with his right-wing opinions, started calling him “Nazi,” and gave him a Nazi salute several times. Ben Gvir asked the man to stop, but he continued to salute him, telling other customers in the store that he was “saluting the Fuhrer.”
Several of the customers captured the incident on video, and with that evidence the attorney sued the Paz company, the gas station chain whose outlet the incident occurred at. Paz and the manager of the station claimed that they were not responsible, while the worker refused to accept a legal complaint over the incident, despite numerous attempts to deliver the documentation to him. Despite that, Ben Gvir continued pursuing the case, and the court on Monday awarded him NIS 200,000 over the incident. The lawsuit against the station and Paz is continuing, Ben Gvir told reporters Monday.
“This is a lesson to workers in convenience stores or other businesses that they must provide service to customers without inserting their political opinions,” Ben Gvir said. “This decision is especially important just days after Holocaust Memorial Day. Anyone who calls someone else a Nazi and gives a Nazi salute will end up paying – out of his pocket.”
Ben Gvir has been party to dozens of lawsuits, and has won more often than not, according to his spokesperson.