Washington appellate attorney Nathan Lewin has filed a defamation suit in the Beit Din of America against the American Jewish World (AJW) on behalf of AER Services, Inc. and Triangle-K kosher supervision over the paper's coverage of the Hebrew National scandal.
Triangle-K, AER Services Launch Defamation Lawsuit Against Jewish Paper
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The Cleveland Jewish News reports that Washington appellate attorney Nathan Lewin has filed a defamation suit in the Beit Din of America against the American Jewish World (AJW) newspaper on behalf of AER Services, Inc. and Triangle-K kosher supervision.
Lewin is Sholom Rubashkin's attorney. He was also an attorney for Agriprocessors, the kosher meant giant once owned by the Rubashkin family.
Lewin's belligerent responses to PETA in 2003 and early 2004 led to the undercover videotaping of Agriprocessors slaughter by PETA. Release of those damning and horrific video tapes in November 2004 to the New York Times proved that Agriprocessors was indeed abusing animals at it Postville slaughterhouse. It also launched a scandal that made front pages of newspapers worldwide.
It eventually led to Agriprocessors bankruptcy and the convictions or guilty pleas by several of its middle managers, along with the conviction of it day-to-day head, Sholom Rubashkin, on bank fraud and related charges.
Rubashkin is currently serving a 27-year prison sentence.
Lewin's defense of Rubashkin in the appeal of that case included repeatedly lying about a sitting federal judge by claiming that the words of an ICE agent were in fact the words of the judge, and truncating the intentionally misattributed quote to make it appear to mean something it does not.
Lewin also called that judge "Haman," the archetypal biblical antisemite from the biblical Book of Esther, given in a speech before a group of haredi and Orthodox rabbis.
The AJW is being sued for reporting that Hebrew National, owned by ConAgra Foods, is itself being sued in a class action lawsuit by consumers who claim that Hebrew National falsely represented itself as being stringently kosher.
The AJW broke the news of that lawsuit. But it also reported on allegations made by employees and former employees of AER Services, Inc., the company that provides Triangle-K kosher supervision, Hebrew National's kosher certifier, with the shochtim (slaughterers), bodkim (senior kosher meat inspectors), and mashgichim (kosher meat inspectors) needed to run kosher slaughter operations at five midwest plants that supply Hebrew National.
Those kosher slaughter workers apparently made the allegations of kosher violations cited in the class action suit against ConAgra.
The basis of Lewin's action against the AJW is the claim that the AJW did not attempt to contact AER Services, Inc., members of its management team, and Triangle-K for comment on those allegations before publishing its report.
“Journalistic ethics and Jewish law do not permit besmirching reputations so easily within our community,” Lewin claimed in a statement.
Mordecai Specktor, the editor and publisher of the AJW, confirmed to FailedMessiah.com earlier this month that is had not contacted AER Services before publishing its report.
However, Specktor noted that the AJW did contact ConAgra before publication for comment about the allegations that its contractors were violating kosher law.
ConAgra responded by issuing a brief blanket statement endorsing its Hebrew National brand's products kosher status. That response was printed in the AJW's report.
The beit din suit against the AJW is most likely a precursor to what will be an actual defamation suit filed in a federal or state court against the AJW by AER Services, Inc. and Hebrew National.