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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Leon Klinghoffer’

American Israeli Terror Victims Spurned by Obama, US Admin

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

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.

Holder Won’t Prosecute Palestinian Killers of 54 U.S. Civilians

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

News broke out last week that the US has captured Osama Bin-Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith. It appears that the former Al-Qaeda spokesman was picked up as he was traveling from Turkey to Amman.

But in Amman, capital city of Jordan, resides a woman who was far more active than Abu Ghaith in killing and maiming American citizens. Ahlam Tamimi, described as a university student and part-time journalist, planned the Sbarro massacre of August 2001 in Jerusalem, and personally led the guitar-case carrying bomber to the crowded destination.

President Obama is planning to visit Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Amman, Jordan this month. He could do a great service in the fight against terrorism by publicly committing his administration to the active prosecution of Palestinians who willfully murdered and wounded American citizens. U.S. terror victims are not asking for favors; we are asking our government to bring justice to those who have been devastated by wanton Palestinian terror funded by U.S. tax dollars.

Fifteen people were murdered in the Sbarro massive explosion, including two American citizens, and another four Americans were wounded. Tamimi was arrested, tried, and sentenced to sixteen life sentences in Israeli jail. But in October, 2011, she went free as part of the deal Israel made to release captive soldier Gilad Shalit. Today, Tamimi sits in Amman where she has her own talk show. As to her role in the bombing, one can hear it in her own words:




The story of Tamimi is the story of failed U.S. law enforcement as it should apply to Palestinian terrorists. After the murder of Leon Klinghoffer on the Achille Lauro, in 1985, the U.S. passed a set of laws to make a terror act against a U.S. citizen anywhere in the world an offense prosecutable in U.S. federal court. A summary of the laws may be found here. These laws form the basis for the extradition of terrorists and pirates, but, to date, the U.S. has never applied these laws to a Palestinian terrorist involved in the death or injury of an American citizen.

This state of affairs is not due to a lack of information: from the 1993 signing of the Oslo Accords to 2006, the tail end of the “Second Intifada,” Palestinian terrorists have murdered 54 American citizens and wounded another 84—including this author and his son—a total of 72 separate terror attacks. The FBI dutifully opened files on every attack and a new office was opened in the Department of Justice to “monitor” such cases: the Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism (OJVOT).

If anything should be abolished during the present “sequester,” it is this office: the number of Palestinian terrorists tried since this OJVOT came into existence in 2005 is equal to the number prior to that date: Zero.

While no Palestinian terrorist has ever been extradited by the U.S., the DoJ has been busy coordinating with Israel the transfer to the U.S. of accused drug dealers and wanted criminals. Since 2004, two years after my son and I were the recipients of Palestinian shrapnel from a suicide bombing, I have begged and pleaded with U.S. officials to prosecute Palestinian terrorists. While their responses have uniformly been of sincere concern and determination (“The United States is committed to seeking justice for our citizens victimized by terrorism whether at home or abroad…”—AG Holder to this author), no Palestinian terrorist has ever been prosecuted.

When Israel was set to release hundreds of convicted terrorists in the aforementioned Shalit deal, I frantically contacted officials in the US government: the two women who brought “our” bomber to downtown Jerusalem were on the launch pad for release. The U.S. belatedly passed along to the Israeli government that no terrorist with American blood on his or her hands should be released. This note was given the day before the prisoner exchange. Needless to say, Israel ignored the request and not a word was said in Washington about the matter.

The reason is simple: Washington never expected Israel to comply, because our cases are irrelevant to the FBI and the DoJ. When the terrorists were released in exchange for the Israeli soldier, the FBI could not even figure out who got out: they could not translate the names because identity numbers were missing digits. Finally, an American lawyer who has worked harder than all of the various governmental agencies combined for U.S. terror victims, informed the FBI that 15 terrorists directly involved in the murder and maiming of American civilians walked free.

English National Opera in Hot Water over “Death of Klinghoffer”

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

The Telegraph reports that Jewish groups have accused the English National Opera of “giving a voice to terrorism” and have threatened to mount protests after the company’s decision to stage the rarely-performed “The Death of Klinghoffer”. Based on the murder of a disabled Jewish tourist during the hijacking of a cruise ship by Palestinian militants, the opera company itself says the production will “shock” audiences.

Leon Klinghoffer, a 69-year-old American, was celebrating his wedding anniversary in October 1985 aboard the Achille Lauro, when he was shot twice and thrown overboard in his wheelchair during the ship’s hijacking off the Egyptian coast by members of the Palestinian Liberation Front.

But according to John Berry, ENO’s artistic director, “one cannot shy away from the fact that this was the most brutal of terrorist attacks, and nor does the production, but the purpose of art is often to shock and challenge audiences. The story is handled with sensitivity and gives an even-handed portrayal of those on both sides of the conflict.”

Back in 1991, when the Brooklyn Academy of Music first staged “Klinghoffer,” Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters Lisa and Ilsa attended anonymously and were “disgusted at the idealistic portrayal of their father’s killers,” according to Reuters. They issued a statement that read: “We are outraged at the exploitation of our parents and the cold-blooded murder of our father as the centerpiece of a production that appears to us to be anti-Semitic.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-news/english-national-opera-in-hot-water-over-death-of-klinghoffer/2012/02/19/

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