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April 1, 2015 / 12 Nisan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Nitsana Darshan Leitner’

Shurat HaDin to Bring Hamas to Hague for War Crimes Against its Own People

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

An Israeli civil rights group, Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center, has filed a complaint in the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague against Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal over the July-August murders of 38 Gazan civilians.

The motion by the Shurat Hadin Israel Law Center to bring Mashaal to the ICC was made possible by the fact that he is a citizen of Jordan, one of the ICC member states, and represents the first time that a Palestinian terrorist would be brought to the court on the basis of his Jordanian citizenship.

The complaint alleges that Hamas executed 20 Gazan civilians on July 28 for engaging in anti-Hamas protests, and publicly executed at least 18 civilians on August 22 for “collaboration” with Israel. The complaint further states that Mashaal “had knowledge of the executions, oversees Hamas’s governance of Gaza, and actively encourages and supports the executions.”

As a Jordanian citizen, the Hamas leader is subject to prosecution by the ICC because court is “empowered to exercise its jurisdiction over all acts committed by the citizen of a member, wherever those acts are committed,” explained attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the chairperson of Shurat Hadin.

In video footage broadcast around the world, Hamas spokesmen testified to the killings of at least 38 civilians in Gaza since the outbreak of this summer’s war with Israel. One of the videos shows Hamas executioners publicly announcing the verdict against some of the condemned civilians, who appear kneeling with cloth bags over their heads in a Gaza mosque. The executions brought widespread condemnation of Hamas from a number of human rights groups.

The Israeli legal group filed the complaint partly as a response to statements made last week by ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who said that the court has not “avoided opening an investigation into alleged war crimes in Gaza due to political pressure” and has only failed to do so due to a lack of jurisdiction. According to ICC protocols, either the claimant or defendant in a case must belong to an ICC member state, a status that neither Israel nor Gaza holds. By trying Mashaal as a Jordanian, the Israeli group hopes to force the court to convene on the case, as Bensouda indicated it would be willing to do.

Darshan-Leitner told Tazpit News Agency that if the case against Mashaal succeeds in going to court, the results would be significant for Israel. The Hamas leader would be arrested and put on trial, and as the attorney pointed out, “the punishment for war crimes is imprisonment for life. It’s a life sentence without parole.” She also noted that a successful trial would undermine the legitimacy of Hamas, who would be “recognized as committing war crimes against its own people.”

Asked about the prospects of the case going to trial, Darshan-Leitner said that she intends to “put public pressure on the court to deal with this issue.” She noted that the court has an incentive to take the case in order to avoid appearing hypocritical, since the chief ICC prosecutor herself wrote that the court is willing to deal with allegations against Hamas.

“Quite frankly,” she said, “I don’t see a way out for the court from dealing with this case. For the first time they have the jurisdiction to deal with Hamas war crimes in Gaza.”

South African U. Suspends Students Who Broke up Concert by Israeli

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

The University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg has given a suspended sentence of a one-year ouster to 11 students charged with disrupting a concert last march by Israeli-born pianist Yosef Reshef on the university campus.

The students and other Muslims and BDS extremists broke into the auditorium and forced the cancellation of a performance the world-renowned Reshef before a full house.

Ten students were found guilty of misconduct for disrupting or inciting others to disrupt the piano recital. The order to exclude them from the university was suspended on condition that the students are not found guilty of any other form of misconduct for a period of two years.

They also will not be allowed to hold any office in any student governance structure for a period of one year and will each have to perform 80 hours of community service. One student  was found guilty of not obeying a lawful instruction issued by a University employee, and will be required to perform an additional 50 hours of community service for this offence.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of the Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin) commented, “This is a small but important victory over the BDS extremist in South Africa. Hopefully, it will deter future violent protests that attempt to bar Jewish artists from performing there.”

Iran Owes Terror Victims Billions of Dollars, Says Activist Lawyer

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

An Israeli lawyer who has won billions of dollars for relatives of terror victims has asked Obama administration officials why they are discussing letting Iran off the hook on sanctions while it owes American relatives colossal sums of money.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who heads the Israel Law Center, has won billions of dollars for relatives of terror victims in lawsuits against the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorist organization as well as banks and other agencies that aid terrorists or act as a pipeline for funds for them.

She wrote Under Secretary Wendy Sherman last month, “Iran must not be allowed under any circumstances to avoid making payment of reparations and due compensations to the families of those whose lives they have destroyed through terrorism…and through the terror organizations it supports: Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah.”

In a blog posted this past week on The Hill website based in Washington, Darshan-Leitner noted that Sherman did not respond, and she added, “As a result of lawsuits taken by American victims of terror in U.S. courts, the Iranian regime currently owes billions of dollars from decades of terrorist activity resulting in dozens of victims and severed families. This debt has yet to be recognized or paid by the Iranian government with no sign of an intention to do so.”

She called on Congress to ensure that the U.S. government is working to keep the interests of the terror victims’ families on the table.

Darshan-Leitner pointed out that when George W. Bush was President, he conditioned repealing of any sanctions against Libya on payment of reparations to the victims of Libyan terror. “This move resulted in the payment of $1.5 billion dollars to the victims’ families,” she wrote.

On the other hand, Bush also removed North Korea from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism in 2008, without compensation being paid to American families, she added.

“We fear this lack of response not only portends a potential Iranian exemption from paying reparations and giving due compensation to families affected by terror in return for normalization of relations, but that it also signals a softening of Sherman’s position on the proliferation of terrorist activity and most significantly, creates difficult implications for the United States’ reputation as a pillar of justice in the war on terror,” according to Darshan-Leitner.

Her blog continued, “As lawyers for American, Canadian and Israeli victims of Iranian terror, we call on Congress to take action and place a check on Under Secretary Sherman in this current round of negotiations… We call on all members of Congress to ensure that victims of terror are not forgotten and to help make the Iranian regime provide the proper reparations and due compensation for the innocent lives taken at the hands of terrorist activities and not to gain a free pass in the name of diplomatic maneuverings.”

Legal Activist Calls for Prosecuting France 2 for Al-Dura Hoax

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Israel should file criminal charges against France 2 following a government report Sunday that the television channel broadcast a film in 200 that falsely portrayed the alleged killing of 12-year-old Mohammed Al-Dura by Israeli soldiers.

Charles Enderlin was bureau chief of France 2 when the Second Intifada, also known as the Oslo War, broke out. He “should never be allowed to practice journalism in Israel again,” said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center.

“In 2007 we argued at the High Court in Jerusalem that France 2’s credentials be canceled, but the press office cited they had a lack of authority to do so,” she added. “Now that the government has determined we were right, it’s time France 2’s bureau chief be prosecuted. Enderlin’s report became a symbol of the second Intifada and a modern-day blood libel directly resulting in hundreds of Jewish and Arab deaths, only for the purpose of raising France 2’s ratings.

“The French network ignited a still-burning torch of hatred against Israel, with images of al-Dura still being presented in anti-Israel protests in Iran, the Arab world and in Western Europe. Those who are responsible must bear the consequences of their actions in order to avoid the repetition of incidents like this and, moreover, to stop this blood libel once and for all.”

We’ll See You in Court

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

For months now, the Palestinian Authority has threatened to file for membership at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, which would enable it to press war crimes charges against Israeli soldiers and senior officials. This was one of PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ primary objectives when he submitted the PA’s candidacy at the U.N. for nonmember observer state status, because one year earlier, devoid of this status, the ICC denied the PA’s membership request.

Abbas uses this threat like the Sword of Damocles over Israel’s head. If the peace process fails to move forward, and if the Israeli government builds in E1 (the area connecting Jerusalem with its Ma’ale Adumim neighborhood), he will use this weapon.

The ICC is eager to pursue cases that don’t involve the slaughter and all-out warfare against tribes in Africa. The debate over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, especially when Israel is on the defendant’s stand, tops the wish list for the war crimes tribunal, which portends to be the ultimate authority on human rights. Out of the hundreds of claims submitted to the ICC, it will choose to tackle those it has desired the most: the prosecution of Israeli soldiers.

Such prosecutions could have fateful consequences. The ICC has the authority to issue arrest warrants against those it convicts, and it is the duty of member countries to make these arrests. IDF soldiers, therefore, will be prevented from setting foot in more than 100 member countries, including Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K.

This would be a decisive blow not only to Israeli backpackers recently discharged from the army, but to all fighting units, which new recruits will seek to avoid due to the risk involved. What’s the point, they’ll say, in sacrificing not only three years to the IDF, but also the freedom to move around in the world afterward.

Of his two options – starting a third intifada or turning to the ICC – Abbas will choose the most preferable, the one that doesn’t come at the cost of blood, that grants him credit with European leaders for choosing the nonviolent path, and that affords him the greatest odds of winning. He’ll turn to The Hague.

The Hague’s authority, however is a two-way street. From the moment the PA becomes a member, it opens itself to similar war crimes claims. Its leaders are liable to find themselves responsible for crimes against humanity and genocide.

Sending terrorists to commit suicide bombings; launching tens of thousands of missiles and rockets against civilian communities; inciting and directing its own population and security forces to kill innocent civilians, as these efforts have become increasingly systematic to the point of being a long-standing official policy against another civilian population – these are all crimes against humanity and genocide. There is already such a precedent, after a New York federal court in 2007 ruled that intifada-related crimes were crimes against humanity, and that Israeli victims of terror had the right to pursue legal action against those who aid and abet terrorism.

The only way to protect IDF soldiers from international prosecution is to deter the PA from turning to The Hague, and this is by threatening to submit thousands of counter-suits against it on behalf of terror victims.

Subsequently, the Israeli-based civil rights organization Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center) has in recent days commenced with a pre-emptive attack. We are collecting testimonies from any Israeli who was a victim of terrorism and are asking that these testimonies be posted to our Facebook page as evidence that can be used in counter-suits against leaders of the Palestinian Authority for their roles in the perpetration of war crimes.

If Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh want to go to The Hague – we will be there to meet them.

Jews Still Planning to Sue Jimmy Carter over Anti-Israel Book

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Asserting that no individual has done more than former President Jimmy Carter to defame Israel and to challenge its right to exist, a group of readers filed a class action suit against Carter and the Simon & Schuster publishing company, back in February, 2011, alleging that Carter’s book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,” contains numerous false and knowingly misleading statements intended to promote the author’s agenda of anti-Israel propaganda and to deceive the reading public instead of presenting accurate information as advertised.

The suit, Unterberg et al. v. Jimmy Carter et.al (11 cv 0720), filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in February, 2011, sought compensatory and punitive damages against the defendants.

The five plaintiffs named in the lawsuit are seeking at least $5 million in compensation. The hard cover edition cost $27.

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, commenting on the decision of Yeshiva University ‘s Cardozo School of Law to give the “International Advocate for Peace” award to President Jimmy Carter, told The Jewish Press:

“It is a great shame that Cardozo Law School will be giving an award to the former U.S. president. President Carter is a person who has exploited his standing to spread lies about the State of Israel, use every possible opportunity to defame the Middle East ‘s sole democracy, and challenge the Jewish state’s right to exist. His book promoted anti-Israel propaganda and lies, and he has even met with representatives of Hamas, a terrorist group responsible for murdering Israelis and Americans.”

In December, 2012, former president Carter apologized to the Jewish community, asking their forgiveness for any negative stigma he may have caused Israel over the years.

“As I would have noted at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but which is appropriate at any time of the year, I offer an Al Het for any words or deeds of mine that may have done so,” he said.

The “Al Chet” supplication is recited during the Yom Kippur prayers.

But Nitsana Darshan-Leitner does not seem impressed by the letter, which coincided with Jimmy’s son, Jason Carter, was considering a run to fill a seat in heavily-Jewish suburban DeKalb County, GA.

“He has visited ten times in Gaza and Saudi Arabia since that apology, and he never expressed regrets over his views,” she noted.

The suit, meanwhile, was deleted from the Federal Court’s agenda on a technicality, and will be filed again in NY State court, according to Darshan-Leitner.

The plaintiffs in that suit and the one to be filed, who described themselves as members of the reading public who purchased Carter’s book expecting that they were buying an accurate and factual record of historic events concerning Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, contended that Carter and his publisher intentionally presented untrue and inaccurate information and sought to capitalize on the author’s status as a former President to mislead unsuspecting members of the public.

The complaint alleged that the defendants’ misrepresentations, all highly critical of Israel, violated New York consumer protection laws, specifically New York General Business Law § 349, which makes it unlawful to engage in deceptive acts in the course of conducting business. While acknowledging Carter’s right to publish his personal views, the plaintiffs assert that the defendants violated the law and, thus, harmed those who purchased the book.

The suit was the first time a former President and a publishing house have been sued for violating consumer protection laws by knowingly publishing inaccurate information while promoting a book as factual.

The complaint noted that after the book’s publication, some of Carter’s closest aides, including distinguished public officials and scholars personally involved in the events described, condemned the book as untruthful. Despite being presented with irrefutable proof that many of representations in the book are false, the defendants refused to make any corrections

Attorney David Schoen, representing the plaintiffs, stated: “It is, indeed, a sad day for all of us as Americans, when a former President demeans the dignity of his office by intentionally misstating critically important facts concerning events of great historic significance and public interest, simply to advance a personal anti-Israel animus and to foster the agenda of the enemies of Israel who pump so much money into the Center which bears his name.”

State Dept. Fights Suit by Americans Claiming US Funds PA Terror

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

The U.S. State Dept. has filed a motion to dismiss the claims of a group of Americans who allege American aid money to the Palestinian Authority funds terrorism.

The Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act requires the State Department to certify that none of the money is used for terror.

“It is estimated that since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the State Department, via USAID, has given over $4 billion to Palestinians, according to the Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin). The sum includes U.S. funding to UNRWA, the United Nations body that operates in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

The lawsuit, filed by 24 Americans living in Israel last November in the U.S. District Court for Washington, contends that the State Department has ignored Congressional safeguards and transparency requirements which govern financial assistance to the PA.

The Jewish Press and other media have frequently reported that the Palestinian Authority pays fat salaries to its suicide bomb masterminds serving time in Israeli jails, spends money to build monuments to glorify suicide bombers and funds its media to disseminate incitement to terror against Jews. Millions of dollars also are transferred to Hamas, which the State Dept. itself classifies as an illegal terrorist organization.

The attorneys for the U.S. government, who have asked the court not to allow the case to continue, claim that the plaintiffs lack standing to bring this civil action and that the case raises “political questions.”

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs and director of the Israel Law Center explained in a statement Tuesday that the issue is the lack of transparency on the part the officials at Foggy Bottom in Washington.

“Rather than defend the government’s foreign aid policy on its merits and provide proof that it truly knows where taxpayer money to the PA is going, the government’s lawyers are trying to dismiss the lawsuit on legal technicalities,” she said. ”They are saying that it is pure speculation that Americans can be injured by terrorism in Israel and that the issue of funding is a foreign policy power reserved to the U.S. President and cannot be reviewed by the courts.”

Darshan-Leitner added emphasized that the lawsuit does not challenge the Executive Branch’s right to conduct foreign policy but simply want transparency.

“U.S. funds are being utilized by the Palestinians for terrorism which threatens Americans, and the plaintiffs will be responding to this motion and asking that the case be allowed to go forward,” Darshan-Leitner stressed.

The Department of Justice has declined to comment on the case when asked to do buy the Washington Free Beacon.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/state-dept-fights-suit-by-americans-claiming-us-funds-pa-terror/2013/04/10/

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