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American Israeli Terror Victims Spurned by Obama, US Admin

So far the Ethiopian Israeli beauty queen, Yityish Aynaw, has been the recipient of more attention from the president's advance team than have American Israeli victims of terror.
President Obama is very busy

President Obama is very busy

President Obama lands in Israel on Wednesday, March 20.  Perhaps on his flight someone will brief him on the American law which provides that those who commit acts of terrorism against Americans – anywhere in the world – will have to answer to the United States.

Right now terrorists must know that the U.S. is all talk, because despite the ever-increasing number of American victims of international terrorism, the U.S. rarely saddles up, heads out, and “gets their man.”  It certainly has never done so when the perpetrator of overseas terror against an American was a Palestinian Arab.

President Obama will only be in the Middle East for three days, starting Wednesday, March 2o. But while the time pressure will force him to skip certain sites, it is hard to imagine a better use of his time than to meet with American Israelis who have been terror victims and whose pleas for assistance can be easily met.

That is, unless this president, like the past several, and all of the US congress, doesn’t think it is absolutely essential to pursue terrorists who have maimed and murdered Americans abroad.

A section of the federal anti-terrorism law allows the U.S. to investigate, extradite (where there is a relevant treaty) and prosecute those who are believed to have murdered or maimed Americans in acts of terrorism committed outside of the United States.

This law was passed in 1985, following the brutal point-blank shooting death of Jewish American Leon Klinghoffer by Arab Palestinian terrorists who boarded the Achille Lauro off the coast of Egypt.

The terrorists boarded the vessel hoping to hold hostage the passengers, and then exchange them for Arab Palestinian terrorists who were being held in Israeli prisons. Sound familiar?

While the investigation of crimes overseas by American agents can be extremely expensive in terms of resources and manpower, that’s not a problem in cases where a foreign, respected judiciary – here, Israel – has already investigated, tried and convicted the violent criminals.  Which is exactly the case for the 1027 convicts released in the Gilad Shalit hostage exchange deal in 2011, 15 of whom have American blood on their hands.

What’s more, many of the convicts have publicly bragged about their acts of terrorism, and have pledged to continue their terrorist pursuits.

Also, unlike Israel, the U.S. is not barred from prosecuting the released convicts.  While Israel was blackmailed into releasing those terrorists and has foresworn prosecuting them again for the crimes for which they were imprisoned, the U.S. is under no such obligation.

So, this should be an easy case.

But tell that to Dr. Alan Bauer, who has been banging his head against the brick wall of the U.S. Justice Department for eight years, trying to get them to do exactly what this federal law was crafted, and enacted, to do.  Bauer, a Chicago-born, Harvard-trained biochemist and his then seven-year old son were seriously wounded in a homicide bombing in Jerusalem on King George Street, eleven years ago, on March 21, 2002.

Or tell it to Sherry and Seth Mandell, whose 13-year old son Koby was stabbed and beaten to death with rocks by Arab Palestinians in the spring of 2001.  The Mandells moved to Israel from Maryland in 1996, in the wake of the Oslo Accords.  The Mandell family moved, hoping to live in peace with their Arab neighbors.

Nearly ten years ago the US congress directed that an office within the Justice Department, the “Office for Victims of Overseas Terrorism,” be created to “ensure that the investigation and prosecution of terrorist attacks against American citizens overseas remain a high priority within the Department of Justice.”

The OVT is responsible for monitoring the investigation and prosecution of terrorist attacks against Americans abroad,” but not a single terrorist has ever been pursued by this office.  Oh, files are open and updated, but that’s it.

A nasty notation in a file in the OVT has never, and one can be assured will never, stop a terrorist from maiming or murdering Americans anywhere.

The answers Bauer and the others have received to their many dozens of pleas to those in the OVT- when there is any response at all – is “thank you for sharing your views.  We share your concern.”  In other words, absolutely nothing of any value.

In anticipation of President Obama’s visit to the region, Bauer and other American victims of Arab Palestinian terror sent a letter to Thomas Goldberger of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.

They asked that the State Department pass on to those in charge of Obama’s visit a simple, three-point message: (1) utilize the American anti-terrorism laws to prosecute terrorists who have wounded and killed Americans, (2) make it clear to the Palestinian Authority that any American financial aid will be cut off if the PA is found to be complicit in acts of terrorism that harm American citizens, and (3) insist that no more Arab Palestinian terrorists with American blood on their hands be released by Israel.

The answer to this message, like the earlier one in which Bauer asked that he and other American victims of terror be granted an audience with President Obama, has been silence.

Bauer points out that the acting leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, publicly stated that his number one goal for Obama’s visit is to “demand” that still more Arab Palestinian convicts be released from jail.  “The issue of the prisoners will be the No. 1 issue during the talks with President Obama,” Khaled abu Toameh reported on March 12.  Blocking more housing for Jews was the second priority.

According to news reports, President Obama reminded Arab American leaders, when he met with them prior to his trip to the Middle East, that he is committed to the creation of “the State of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian People.”

Bauer and other American victims of Arab terrorism hope that Obama is just as committed to justice for them as he repeatedly says he is to the creation of another Arab state.  But so far, the Ethiopian Israeli beauty queen, Yityish Aynaw, has been the recipient of more attention from the president’s advance team than have American Israeli victims of terror.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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12 Responses to “American Israeli Terror Victims Spurned by Obama, US Admin”

  1. America stands for what? This is disgusting

  2. I'm sure he'll have a more interesting time meeting with the terrorist in chief in Ramallah.

  3. Not sure what you mean by "American Israelis." If people vote in Israel, they are no longer Americans under US law. Please clarify.

  4. There are many dual nationality Israeli Americans living in the US and Israel.

  5. Would professor Blum like to provide a citation to the U.S. law that makes voting in Israel an automatic renunciation of U.S. citizenship? Many U.S. citizens hold dual citizenship and vote both in the U.S. and another country of residence.

  6. William A. McLaughlin says:

    Mr. Blum is correct, The U.S. does not formally recognize Dual citizenship. During the Vietnam War it drafted men holding dual citizenship and gave them a choice either serve or loose US Citizenship. During my service I encountered a number who faced that choice. Voting rights are based on residency. If you hold dual citizenship and do not meet the residency requirements of let's sat New York or Florida, you can not vote there.

    What I find curious is that Ms. Marcus is either continuing her campaign of "Obama Bashing" or implying Israel is incapable of prosecuting and protecting its citizens on its soil. If Israel is incapable of protecting its citizens, it is a problem for Israelis not the US President. US policy should be determined in Washington not Tel Aviv and certainly not by MS. Marcus.

  7. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    He allowed, some even say orchestrated, the terror massacre in Benghazi. Do you really think he would care about Jewish victims? Really?

  8. Arie's Pragmatic Politics says:

    William A. McLaughlin Actually, YES it does. That duality ends under the following precepts:

    Serving in the armed forces of a country which is engaged in hostilities against the United States.

    Formally renouncing one's U.S. citizenship in front of a duly authorized U.S. official.

    Committing an act of treason against the United States, or attempting or conspiring to overthrow the U.S. government.

    But it is interesting how the dual-citizenship concept becomes an issue ONLY in dual Israeli US citizenship! One never reads of that consternation when the duality is Italian-US, Irish-US and numerous other scenarios.

    As for obama bashing, it is not bashing when it is honest. Ad switch off the canard that Israel will not prosecute its own defense. It always has, always will and no US blood has ever been asked for or shed in her defense.

    And yes, US policy should be developed in DC, and the US should learn to shut up when it comes to Israel's security and its new found (under obama) promotion that she does not have that right. obama made clear in Cairo 2009, and in his funding of terror groups like the MB, Hezbollah and hamas what his intentions are.

    And that Mr. McLaughlin is FACT, not bashing. Only obfuscation and lies attempts to turn the truth on its head and call it "bashing!"

  9. Mr. Blum care to quote that section of US laws that state that?

    There are currently several MILLION Americans that migrated from Mexico that vote in both the US and Mexico and the current administration is seeking to add millions more.

    Mr. McLaughlin – this is about America and American laws not Israel. Why should America not go after the murderers of Americans as UNITED STATES laws require? Some of those Americans murdered by Arabs weren't Israeli-American citizens – they were just visiting, some weren't even Jewish yet the Department of Justice has done exactly nothing about any of them.

    WHY?

  10. William A. McLaughlin says:

    Arie's Pragmatic Politics Your wrong During WWI and WWI American's serving in English, Chinese or French military were given modified oaths so as to not lose their citizenship. Israel was given an exemption and Americans who fought in the War of Independence were not threatened. Those who fought in the Spanish Civil War were not so lucky. In practice America does recognize Dual citizenship but it is not formalized under the Constitution of US Law. Your claims of FACT are flawed and not supportable as are Loren Griffith' claims of widespread voter fraud. There NO documented evidence of Mexican migration to fraudulently vote in past election. It is a lie perpetrated by "Tea Party" bigots. This was recently shown to be false in arguments before the Supreme Court concerning claims by Arizona.

  11. "Some say, he even orchestrated the attack on Benghazi"??? "Some say" you are still beating your wife. "Some say" you have a cranial rectal inversion. "Some say" you are a moron. "Some say" you ought not to display your racist nonsense so publicly.

  12. You are correct William, but while the US government may not officially recognize dual citizenship, other countries do. You retain your citizenship in the United States until you renounce it. You may do anything you wish in another country as long as it is alright with them, the US has nothing to do with that.

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