On Monday, Aug. 24, Federal District Judge George Daniels ordered the Palestinian Authority (PA) to put up just $10 million in cash or as a bond and pay $1 million a month as they appeal a $655.5 million judgment against it. This is an extraordinarily low amount for the bond, given the judgment rendered by the jury.
Judge Daniels stated that he took “serious consideration” of the letter from the State Department about the precarious financial conditions of the PA and thus set the very low bond as he lets the PA and PLO appeal the verdict to the Second Circuit court. The State Department came in on the side of the PA, which pays $65 million dollars per year to its terrorists sitting in Israeli jails. Maybe the State Dept. should try switching sides and come in for the plaintiffs.
In backing the PA through a Statement of Interest filed with the court, the State Department may have helped delay the day of reckoning for the PA. The U.S. government claimed that the economic demise of the PA was of critical concern to the U.S., and thus felt compelled to interfere in our case, on the side of people found guilty of providing material support for terror against American citizens.
In the eleven years since we first filed Sokolow vs. PLO, we never heard from the U.S. government.
The U.S. government made no effort to contact us or to help us in preparing for trial.
And when we won a stunning victory on 23 February of this year, when the PA and PLO were found guilty on 24 counts and made to pay $655.5 million, not a word came out of Washington.
While Israeli politicians across the political spectrum praised holding the PA legally responsible for its terror activity, not a word came from the White House, the State Department or the Department of Justice. This was the first inkling that the US would not stay on the sidelines for long but was prepared to come into our case—on the side of the murderers.
While the US may claim that it has a stake in the well-being of the PA, it should also realize that it has a stake in the legal rights of its citizens and in the law that is designed to prevent terrorists from harming American citizens anywhere in the world.
Maybe John Kerry, now that he has saved the PA for the time-being from paying serious money for its terror activity, would like to come in our side? Maybe the time has come for Mr. Kerry to pick up the telephone and tell Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas that he wants his fellow Americans to be paid properly for the horrors they experienced.
When I picked up my unconscious son from the sidewalk of King George Street on 21 March 2002, I did not know that a piece of shrapnel had passed fully through his right brain. My arm was leaking blood from screws that had ripped up a pair of arteries. The bomber was a PA policeman, and the one who sent him was a PA intelligence officer. The latter receives a fat salary from the PA every month while in Israeli jail for murder and has gone up in rank four times during his 13 years of incarceration. A pregnant woman and her husband were killed in our attack.
Maybe Secretary Kerry would like to think of my co-plaintiffs who lost children in the Hebrew University bombing. They will never see them again or enjoy their company. The bombing at the Hebrew University took the lives of young Americans who had come to Israel to study.