Trade24 makes sure to follow all the rules according to Halacha of which one can invest and lend money.
When a 16-year-old Lubavitcher named Ari Halberstam was gunned down on the Brooklyn Bridge on March 1, 1994 by a Lebanese livery cab driver, the killing seemed to be a cut-and-dried case.
The shooter, Rashid Baz, was captured the following day and confessed to police. After a trial several months later, he was sentenced to 141 years in prison.
But a murder conviction was not enough for Ari’s mother, Devorah Halberstam. She saw a terrorist conspiracy behind the shooting and criticized authorities for treating it as an ordinary homicide.
For years she obsessively campaigned for further investigation, clamoring to be taken seriously by authorities. She waited on receiving lines to buttonhole senators and congressmen, knocked on doors at City Hall, and traveled back and forth to Washington.
Twenty years after her son’s killing, Halberstam is now an authority on terrorism with close ties to law enforcement officials – a highly unusual role for a chassidic woman.
She regularly helps train security officials on terrorism-related issues, giving seminars to police and FBI agents, flying to Army bases to lecture soldiers, teaching Border Patrol agents and meeting with security officials from overseas.
Last week, a man who tried to build a pipe bomb for use in New York, Jose Pimentel, was sentenced to 16 years in prison on terrorism charges under laws Halberstam helped draft.
“If I had to use one word to describe Devorah, I would use the word relentless,” Raymond Kelly, who served as the commissioner of the New York Police Department from 1992 to 1994 and again from 2000 to 2013, told JTA. “She’s a major force in the political world, and certainly those people who focus on the issues of counterterrorism know that well.”
Halberstam acknowledges that she never could have imagined this life for herself two decades ago. Back then it was all about achieving a measure of justice for her son.
Halberstam’s campaign, which focused on having her son’s shooting recognized as a terrorist act, wasn’t merely semantic. To her, the issue cut to the heart of what she saw as the authorities’ failure to fully pursue other avenues of investigation: Who helped inspire the attack, plan it, abet it and conspire to shelter Baz in the hours after the shooting?
On the surface, the attack appeared to be an Arab gunman’s angry response to the massacre in Hebron several days earlier, when 29 Palestinians were gunned down by Baruch Goldstein, a West Bank settler.
The young Halberstam had been a passenger in a van full of chassidic boys that was trailing the motorcade of the Lubavitcher rebbe who was on a trip home from the hospital. Halberstam believes the van became a Jewish target of convenience once the rebbe’s vehicle disappeared into a tunnel.
But the lawyer for Baz, who had an arsenal of weapons with him that day, maintained the shooting was the result of a traffic dispute carried out by a lone assailant without assistance. No official motive was determined at the trial.
Halberstam wanted more. She worked to collect letters of support from powerful politicians, got a Brooklyn Bridge ramp named for her son and raised millions of dollars for the construction of a Jewish children’s museum in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn dedicated to Ari’s memory. She sued the companies that manufactured the guns used in her son’s killing (and lost). She pushed the state to pass Ari’s Law, which requires a license to possess a gun kit and is meant to curtail interstate gun trafficking.
All the while, her son’s case remained closed.
The turning point came in 1999, when media reports about the case sparked renewed calls by New York’s governor as well as U.S. senators and congressmen for a reassessment. The FBI finally responded, describing the shooting as an act of “road rage.”
About the Author: Uriel Heilman is managing editor of JTA. An award-winning journalist, he has worked in a variety of positions for publications in the United States and in Israel, including as New York bureau chief of the Jerusalem Post.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Sen. Cotton sounds confident there is much more that can be done to protect us all from the Nuclear Iran Deal.
Jewish agricultural laws aren’t necessarily something the rest of the world easily becomes fixated on, but lately the word “Shemitah” has been popping up frequently in Google searches.
The Knesset passed its first reading for the 2015-2016 budget by a vote of 57 to 53.
Shortly before 7 PM, sniper fire originating from Gaza hit a home in the Israeli town of Netiv Ha’asara.
A teacher at an UNRWA school in Jordan includes a Jewish blood libel cartoon on his Facebook account.
“I, Yaakov Litzman, pledge…to be faithful to the government of Israel and to its laws.”
Pope Francis invited the President of Israel for his first official visit to the Vatican.
The Maryland Democrat caved in even though she is retiring at the end of her current term.
Another rash of life-threatening firebombing and rock-throwing attacks has prompted Israel to think twice about abandoning soldiers and civilians as sitting ducks.
Pressure from Gush Etzion leaders has convinced Ya’alon to authorize a site in memory of last year’s three kidnap-murder victims.
As reported earlier, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s grandfather’s grave on the Mount of Olives was desecrated overnight by Arab vandals who destroyed and burned numerous graves. The Mount of Olives is one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the world.
British liberal and leftists largely support the deal, though there are some center-left figures who oppose the agreement,
(JERUSALEM) – Beekeepers from across Israel delivered their honey products to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin this week in light of a festive event held at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem for the upcoming Jewish New Year. A delegation of the Israeli Honey Council, which also included a three-generation family of children, parents, and grandparents in […]
Vice President Joe Biden is embarking on Florida to push the Iran nuclear deal while also checking out his chances as a possible presidential candidate in the 2016 Democratic primaries.
How do some of the other issues Obama discussed in his 2013 U.N. General Assembly speech look through today’s lens?
Despite some limited success, after every conflagration Hamas has managed to re-arm and improve its rocket capacity, as evident in the rocket range on display in this round of fighting.
Over the years, the ADL has been criticized for overstating what qualifies as anti-Semitism, with critics suggesting that some of the statements used to measure bias actually are more indicative of admiration for Jews than anti-Jewish hostility.
“Last year we took the $10,000 from him,” Jay Sanderson, president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, told JTA. “We’re not going to take it anymore.”
“More than the Jews have kept the Shabbos (Sabbath), the Shabbos has kept the Jews.”
The battle over partnership minyans is just the latest scuffle in the war over women’s roles in the Orthodox community.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/devorah-halberstam-from-bereaved-mother-to-counterterrorism-authority/2014/02/26/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: