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October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘families’

Obama Vetoes Bill Letting 9/11 Families Sue Saudi Arabia

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

President Obama on Friday vetoed the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act,” which was passed unanimously by both the House and Senate, helping families of 9/11 victims sue Saudi Arabia. The bill enables the families to sue the Kingdom should it be shown to be legally liable, having supported the attack. Out of the 19 Sept. 11 terrorists, 15 were Saudi nationals.

Obama released a statement Friday, saying he bears “deep sympathy for the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, who have suffered grievously. I also have a deep appreciation of these families’ desire to pursue justice and am strongly committed to assisting them in their efforts.”

However, the president explained, the 9/11 bill is sure to “invite consequential decisions to be made based upon incomplete information and risk having different courts reaching different conclusions about the culpability of individual foreign governments and their role in terrorist activities directed against the United States — which is neither an effective nor a coordinated way for us to respond to indications that a foreign government might have been behind a terrorist attack.”

Yes, he actually used that as his argument: it’s going to cause a mess in the courts system.

A group named 9/11 Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism released a statement Friday saying it is “outraged and dismayed” over the president’s veto, arguing that his reasoning is “unconvincing and unsupportable.”

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she supports the bill. Her spokesman said in a statement that “Clinton continues to support the efforts by Senator Schumer and his colleagues in Congress to secure the ability of 9/11 families and other victims of terror to hold accountable those responsible. She would sign this legislation if it came to her desk.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Obama’s veto was “shameful,” adding in a statement: “That President Obama would deny the parents, spouses and children of those we lost on that horrific day the chance to close this painful chapter in their lives is a disgrace.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) said earlier last week that he believes ” the votes are there for the override.” Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D-NY), who co-sponsored the bill, is on the record as promising to help override a veto.

This is the 12th veto by President Obama in his eight years in the White House, and none of his first 11 have been overturned. His predecessor, President GW Bush, used his veto power 12 times and was overturned four times. Out of President Bill Clinton’s 36 vetoes, two were overridden; President GHW Bush had 29 vetoes (in one term) and lost only one.


Empowering 9/11 Families: The President Should Get Out Of The Way

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

As it now stands, President Obama intends to veto a bill passed unanimously by the Senate and House that would allow families of 9/11 victims to sue the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts based on its government’s alleged involvement in the attacks.

Despite evidence of such involvement, the Saudis have previously been immune from legal action in the United States pursuant to a 1976 American law recognizing the doctrine of sovereign immunity, which bars suits against foreign governments in U.S. courts.

While the previous law granted such immunity to foreign governments for terrorist attacks committed off American soil, the new law would carve out an exception for such acts carried out on American soil. The previous law was at the heart of a $655 million U.S. jury verdict against the PLO and the PA for terrorist acts committed In Israel, which was recently vacated by a federal appeals court. The court reasoned that the Constitution requires terrorist acts to have been committed in the U.S., or to have specifically targeted Americans overseas, for Americans to sue in U.S. courts.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday that he anticipates the president will veto the legislation but that it hasn’t been presented to him yet. Mr. Earnest went on to explain that the new law was “objectionable” because it “opens the United States to the risk of being hauled into courts in countries around the world.”

New York Senator Charles Schumer, one of the prime movers of the legislation, said he thinks there would be enough votes to override a presidential veto.

It is certainly not an idle concern that there could be adverse repercussions for the U.S. should the new law actually take effect, but that risk should be trumped by the prospect of justice for 9/11 class victims. Additionally we must not forget that the U.S. is still a major power with significant leverage around the world. Further, if in practice the cases brought in U.S. courts are based on compelling rather than circumstantial evidence, the chances of retaliation might be diminished.

There is also something buried in the law that should have some impact. A belatedly added provision would allow a president to bring about an indefinite halt in any case brought against a foreign government if the Department of Justice can demonstrate that the administration was engaged in good faith settlement negotiations with a defendant country.

To be sure, this provision could enable the executive branch to unilaterally render insignificant a piece of legislation unanimously passed by the Senate and the House. However, since many who voted for the law are said to have misgivings over the retaliation issue, the way the legislation now reads is probably the most realistic way forward.

Editorial Board

White House: Obama to Veto Bill Empowering 9/11 Families to Sue the Saudis

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

President Obama intends to veto a bill which allows families of 9/11 victims to sue the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in US courts, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Monday.

“The president does plan to veto this legislation,” Earnest said, reiterating, “I do anticipate the president will veto the legislation when it is presented to him. It hasn’t been presented to him yet.”

According to The Hill, this could be the first time Congress would be able to override an Obama veto. Democratic lawmakers have been pressuring the Administration to leave the bill alone for the sake of the 9/11 victims’ families, and for the sake of their reelection come November. Democratic lawmakers are concerned the veto would ignite a showdown between the White House and Congress that would damage the president and make him less effective on the serious issues, namely the fight over the budget in the lame-duck session of Congress. The bill passed unanimously by a voice vote in both the House and Senate.

Earnest cautioned that “this law actually opens up the United States to the risk of being hauled into court in countries around the world,” and added that “the president will continue to explain his opposition to this legislation … up until Congress decides whether to override his veto.”

The Saudi dominated, six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), announced on Monday that the proposed law “contravenes the foundations and principles of relations between states and the principle of sovereign immunity enjoyed by states,” possibly assuming this sovereign immunity includes the right to plot an attack on major civilian centers of the host country.

GCC Secretary General Abdullatif al-Zayani also said in an unveiled threat that “such laws will negatively affect the international efforts and international cooperation to combat terrorism.”


Reflecting on 9-11 and Remembering the Victims and Heroes of 9-11 and their Families

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Our hearts and thoughts are with the victims and heroes of 9-11 and their families, as we approach this fifteenth anniversary of 9-11 (2001), and the fourth anniversary of the ‘Benghazi 9-11’ (in 2012). We join all those who lost loved ones in grieving for the irreplaceable lives that were destroyed, and pray for comfort for those left behind.

This is also a time for reflection.

In the wake of 9-11, almost the entire nation felt a sense of unity – black, white or red, we were all one. The nation felt overwhelming gratefulness to the firefighters and police officers who risked and in many cases lost their lives trying to rescue citizens trapped in the burning towers, and we were firmly determined to stamp out radical Islamist terrorism. Americans also newly understood the terror that innocent Israeli citizens have been subjected to for decades, since before the State of Israel was reborn.

Where has all this gone? Today, we are beset with divisiveness. There are racial movements that preach hatred of the police – the very same people who risked their lives to rescue fellow citizens on 9-11. As occurred in San Bernadino with fatal consequences, Americans have become afraid to report suspicious terror activities for fear of being accused of bigotry or “Islamophobia.” Israel is condemned on college campuses and even by certain churches for defending her citizens from terror attacks. Al Qaeda offshoots such as ISIS perpetrate terror attacks in various parts of the world almost every day.
Iran planned the 9-11 attacks and then joined in an alliance with al Qaeda to finalize the plot and carry out 9-11; trained the 9-11 terrorists; and provided a flight simulator in Tehran for the 9-11 terrorists’ flight training.

And, we are feeding the hand that bit us. Yesterday’s hearing before the House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee on Capitol Hill painfully reminded us that the U.S. administration has been sending billions of dollars to Iran, including extraordinary amounts in cash that will no doubt be used to finance more terror.

ZOA previously summarized and publicized Iran’s key role in and complicity in 9-11, documented by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in its Findings of Fact in Havlish v. bin Laden, et al – a case brought by 9-11 victims against al Qaeda, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hezbollah and other Iranian and Iranian-backed entities, after years of investigation, prompted by information initially uncovered by the 9-11 Commission.

Briefly, Iran planned the 9-11 attacks and then joined in an alliance with al Qaeda to finalize the plot and carry out 9-11; trained the 9-11 terrorists; provided a flight simulator in Tehran for the 9-11 terrorists’ flight training; along with Iran’s proxy Hezbollah, arranged travel and visas for the 9-11 terrorists and accompanied the 9-11 terrorists on flights; and helped al Qaeda terrorists and their families escape from Afghanistan after 9-11.

On 9-11 this year, let’s pray for comfort for those who were forever bereaved by this tragedy; work towards restoring a sense of unity in our nation; once again honor our police and other first responders; understand and support Israel’s struggle against the same Islamist terror that has too often struck us in America; make sure that no more funds are sent to Iran or any regime that supports terror; and determine to finally stamp out radical Islamist terror.

Morton A. Klein

10 Families Evicted From Kiryat Arba Neighborhood

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

By Andrew Friedman/TPS

Border Police forces evicted 10 families and demolished their homes in the Mitzpe Avichai community in Kiryat Arba on Tuesday. Residents reported that hundreds of soldiers deployed around Kiryat Arba to secure the demolitions.

The outpost, located on the outskirts of the town, is named for 17-year-old Avichai Levy, a resident of the nearby town of Bet Haggai who was murdered in a terror attack in 2005. The site has been demolished and rebuilt repeatedly. In June, the terrorist who murdered 13-year-old Hallel Ariel in her bed infiltrated the city via the neighborhood.

Right wing politicians, local authorities and neighborhood residents slammed the demolition, saying the move was a slap in the face to Ariel family and would “invite” the next murder of Kiryat Arba residents.

“Someone upstairs is apparently very confused,” said MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home). “The only answer to terror and murder is building and settlement. This is a mark of shame for a government that calls itself ‘nationalist’. I call on the defense minister to return a sense of balance to the Civil Administration. The absurd situation of demolitions from [former Defense Minister] Bugi [Yaalon]’s tenure cannot be allowed to continue.”

Kiryat Arba/Hebron Mayor Malachi Levinger added, “It is with great pain that we see our security forces removing these families from an area that belongs to Kiryat Arba/Hebron. We repeat our demand to build a new neighborhood here and I expect the defense minister to order a stop to the demolition and to approve construction here immediately.

“Kiryat Arba/Hebron, which has sustained heavy loses during the current wave of terror, stands strong. We demand that all ministers and Knesset members who promised the Ariel family during the seven-day mourning period that they would move to bring a new neighborhood here to fruition stand by their promises.

Rina and Amichai Ariel, Hallel’s parents, said the demolition was an additional blow, just two months after their daughter was murdered in her sleep. The fact that the outpost was constructed on the spot where the terrorist infiltrated the community served to add insult to injury.

“It’s been two months since the murder. Hallel is gone. The community that stood on this terrible place – the place where the killer infiltrated – is gone.

“Our only purpose is to continue to build. To increase light in the world. Today, Hallel was murdered a second time. At the moment, darkness is covering everything. How much strength do we need to continue? How much faith do we need to deal with the darkness? How much patience?” said Rina Ariel.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Report: 180 Gush Katif Families Still without Permanent Housing

Monday, August 8th, 2016

The Israeli government was well-organized and brutally effective in expelling the 8,000 or so Jews of Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip 11 years ago, but when it comes to keeping the promise of finding adequate, permanent housing for these refugees in their own land, perfection has not been the name of the game.

A report by Israel Radio on Monday revealed that as many as 180 expelled families, about 13% of the uprooted Jews of Gaza, are still living in temporary mobile homes. The man in charge of finding solutions to the problem happens to be Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi), who was among the few politicians who condemned the exiling of Jews from their homes by a Jewish government. But he, too, has been unable, despite the resources at his command, to find permanent housing for these families.

According to Hagit Yaron, director of the caravan community of the expelled Jews of Gush Katif, the government is yet to prepare lots for housing construction for these remnants of the 2005 crime.

David Israel

Hamas Goons Beat Gaza Families During Demolition of their Homes [video]

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Avi Mayer, the international media spokesman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, tweeted a video showing Hamas henchmen attacking Arab families in Gaza who stood in their way and were trying to prevent the demolition of their homes.

According to Mayer, Hamas claimed the homes had to be demolished “to expand the street,” but local residents, who demand market value compensations for their property, accused Hamas of using double standards when it came to home demolitions — bad when Israel does it, highly acceptable when the Hamas government is doing it.

Meyer cited Arab media reports saying that many Arab civilians, including children and the elderly, were beaten and injured by Hamas thugs.

The video, titled Security in Gaza Assaulting Civilians, was posted by Alquds.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hamas-goons-beat-gaza-families-during-demolition-of-their-homes-video/2016/07/18/

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