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September 2, 2015 / 18 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Second Intifada’

Arab Bank Settles NY Fed Court Case over Hamas Terror Attacks

Sunday, August 16th, 2015

Jordan’s Arab Bank Plc has agreed to an out-of-court settlement with 500 U.S. citizens in a lawsuit charging the bank with fiscal liability for Hamas terrorist attacks during the second intifada.

The bank was set to face the start of a trial on Monday with 17 plaintiffs that was to determine the potential amount of total financial damages to be paid, an amount that could have reached millions of dollars.

Michael Eisner, attorney for the plaintiffs, confirmed the settlement on Friday, as did a spokesperson for the Arab Bank. Neither disclosed the terms of the agreement, which are to be finalized over the next few months.

The Arab Bank was accused of knowingly maintaining accounts for Hamas operatives and facilitating payments to families of suicide bombers and those imprisoned or injured during the second intifada, beginning in 2000.

Arab Bank argued it had properly screened account holders and transactions against lists of designated terrorist organizations.

In September 2014 a jury in federal district court in Brooklyn, New York found the bank liable under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act for 24 terror attacks carried out by Hamas terrorists more than a decade ago in and around Israel.

The Bank of China, Credit Lyonnais SA, HSBC Holdings Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, among others, are all facing similar claims.

Jerusalem Arabs Attack Bus Passengers near Gilo

Friday, July 17th, 2015

Jerusalem Arabs celebrated Ramadan Thursday night by pelting an Egged passenger bus with rocks.

No injuries were reported after the rock-throwing assault on the No. 33 bus below the Gilo neighborhood n southern Jerusalem, according to The Muqata blog site.

Baltimore City Curfew Helps Taper Off Riots

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

A 10 pm curfew and strong show of force by thousands of security personnel Tuesday night helped restore order to most of the city, and put an end to riots in Baltimore.

At least one Jewish business owner faced near-total ruin Tuesday night; Harvey Levy of the Baltimore suburb of Reisterstown responded to an alarm and saw his sports store had been damaged and emptied by rioters.

The Agudath Israel synagogue also posted a notice on its door warning congregants its final evening service of the night would be held at 9:30 pm due to the 10 pm curfew.

Two of the three city’s home games between the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox were postponed; a third, scheduled for Wednesday, is to be played at Camden Yards in a historic “first” televised game with an entirely empty stadium. No fans are allowed into the stadium due to security considerations.

The Baltimore police department managed to finally contain thousands of rioters throughout the city by the wee hours of Wednesday morning, with the help of some 2,000 National Guard troops, 1,000 supplemental police officers from neighboring counties and 2,000 civilian volunteers.

Users on Twitter and other social networking sites have been comparing the situation in Baltimore to that in Israel, whose security forces must contend with similar issues in her cities, albeit with Arabs instead of rioting city residents hoping for anarchy.

The situation in the United States, in fact, appears to be developing a parallel process in many ways similar to the Arab intifada that is faced by Israel every few years.

More than 235 arrests were made in Baltimore in the past 24 hours At least 20 police officers were injured, including one who remains in critical condition. The force has been forced to decide how and when to use increased riot control measures such as tear gas, smoke canisters and other security options; issues also confronted by Israel.

An alleged alliance between three national gangs — the Black Guerrillas, the Crips and the Bloods — was formally denied on Tuesday in a statement by the gang members who said the supposed agreement to “take out” Baltimore police was untrue. Gang members were later seen towards sunset organizing into a secondary buffer line spreading out between protesters and police.

Baltimore mother Toya Graham became the most well-known personality in the city on Tuesday: the single mother of six was seen in a video flashed around the Internet chastising her 16-year-old son after spotting him on television among rioters wearing a black face mask. Graham was seen ripping the mask from her son and smacking him around the face and shoulders while chasing and scolding him, forcing him to leave the riots and come home with her. Many news groups and Internet users informally dubbed her “Mother of the Year.”

Israel Law Center Wins Landmark Decision Against PA in NY Court

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Shurat HaDin – the Israel Law Center – on Thursday (Nov. 20) won a landmark decision against the Palestinian Authority (PA) on behalf of 11 families of victims of terror. The U.S. District Court in New York set a date for a jury trial in January for the case that began in 2004.

The Israeli civil rights advocacy group is representing the families in a lawsuit that holds the PA and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) responsible for the deaths of their loved ones due to seven terror attacks between 2001 and 2004, during the period of the second intifada.

“For years the PA provided funding and every measure of support for the murderous terrorist operations in Israel that devastated the country and left so many civilians dead,” said Shurat HaDin head Attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner.

“The decision and trial will provide an unprecedented opportunity to present to a New York jury all that the evidence that has been amassed documenting the Palestinians’ use of terrorism as an official policy to advance their goals,” she added.

At issue is the question of whether the PA and PLO are “vicariously liable” for the deaths of the American citizens killed in the seven terror attacks.

Thursday’s decision found there was sufficient evidence to prove that PA employees were involved in carrying out terror attacks against civilians in Israel and that the PA and PLO provided weapons, money and other material support to the operatives, in violation of U.S. Anti-Terror laws.

Moreover, there is sufficient evidence to provide the possibility that a jury could also rule the PA and PLO guilty of providing “safe haven” to the terrorists, and material support to Fatah’s military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization.

Recently Shurat HaDin won a ruling against the Arab Bank in which the bank was found guilty of providing material support to Hamas in funding terrorist attacks. The bank has appealed the case.

The trial set for January is a landmark case whose costs in terms of damages awarded by the court to the plaintiffs could reach up to $1 billion.

 

 

Palestinians: We Do Not Trust the Americans

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry embarks on a fresh mission to prevent the collapse of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the Palestinian Authority [PA] appears to be doing its utmost to internationalize the conflict with Israel.

The Palestinians want other international parties, especially the European Union, United Nations and Russia, to play a major role in the current U.S.-sponsored peace talks.

They perceive these parties as being more sympathetic to, and supportive of, the Palestinians.

The PA’s biggest fear is that Washington will try to impose a solution that would certainly fail to win the backing of most Palestinians and Arabs.

Unconfirmed reports recently suggested that Kerry was considering the possibility of forcing his own deal on the Israelis and Palestinians as early as next year.

A forced solution, Palestinians warn, would also severely undermine the credibility of the PA leadership, whose leaders would be accused by many Palestinians and Arabs of capitulating to American pressure and threats.

The PA has come to learn that U.S. threats to cut off financial aid are not to be taken seriously. The U.S. administration has previously issued similar threats, but never carried them out. The last threat came before the PA unilaterally applied for the status of non-member observer state in the United Nations.

The PA also keeps warning the Americans that financial aid cuts would lead to the collapse of the “moderate” Palestinian camp and pave the way for a Hamas takeover of the West Bank.

Kerry and his team are evidently unaware of the fact that neither Abbas, whose term of office expired several years ago, nor any other Palestinian leader is authorized to make real concessions to Israel.

The last time the Americans tried to extract concessions from a Palestinian leader was in the year 2000, when President Bill Clinton dragged Yasser Arafat to Camp David and exerted heavy pressure on him to accept Ehud Barak’s offer to hand over to the Palestinians most of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

The result of the U.S. pressure was that Arafat ran away and within a few weeks Palestinians launched the Second Intifada against Israel; Abbas, in Arabic, has already threatened as much.

Today, the PA is already facing growing criticism for agreeing to return to the negotiating table unconditionally three months ago. Palestinian leaders have justified their decision by arguing that Kerry forced them to drop their pre-conditions and resume the peace talks with Israel.

“We want the Americans to be involved in the peace process,” said a senior aide to PA President Mahmoud Abbas. “But the U.S. should focus its pressure on the Israelis and not on us. We want the Americans to force Israel to accept the two-state solution and dismantle all the illegal settlements.”

Palestinian Authority officials say they are now convinced that the U.S. administration has no intention to force Israel to comply with all the demands of the Palestinian negotiators, including a full withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines. That is why Abbas and his top aides have begun moves in the international community to persuade as many countries as possible to get involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

And that is why the Palestinians have recently been directing their criticism not only against Israel, but also against the U.S. administration.

PA leaders say they have lost their confidence in the U.S. administration’s ability to serve as an honest broker in the negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel.

Hours before Kerry was scheduled to meet with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, several Palestinian officials and groups issued statements denouncing U.S. “bias” in favor of Israel.

The Palestinians also called for holding protests during Kerry’s visit to Bethlehem to express their opposition to U.S. policies in the region, particularly regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In fact, anti-U.S. protests have become a common occurrence in the West Bank each time a U.S. official arrives to meet with Palestinians.

The Palestinian Authority’s strategy now is to prove to the world that Israel is not interested in peace and the U.S. cannot be trusted with brokering a comprehensive and just solution.

The Palestinians are willing for now to pursue the talks with Israel to avoid being held responsible for the failure of the peace process.

Terrorist Receives Doctorate from Hebrew University

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Adel Hidmi, a terrorist who served two prison terms following his involvement in planning a suicide bombing and other terror activities, received his doctorate in chemistry at Hebrew University this past week.

A resident of east Jerusalem, Hidmi was convicted in 1992 for his involvement with terrorist organizations and served ten months in prison. Despite his record, Hebrew University accepted Hidmi as a doctoral candidate where he began his double career as a chemistry student and terrorist networker, according to a news report in Israeli newspaper, Maariv.

During his doctoral track at Hebrew University’s Department of Chemistry, Hidmi was approached by two Palestinians in Ramallah and asked to locate a man ready to carry out a suicide bombing in Jerusalem in 2002. With the backdrop of the second Intifada and a slew of suicide bombers frequently carrying out attacks, in the midst of writing academic papers, Hindi was able to find a suitable candidate to carry out the bombing.

Three days before the attack was to be carried out in central Jerusalem, an elite army unit arrested the two Palestinians in Ramallah and Hidmi was arrested in Jerusalem. Shin Bet representatives stated in a Jerusalem court that Hidmi had been taking advantage of his Israeli citizenship to organize suicide attacks against civilians.

A Hebrew University cafeteria had also been the deadly target of a terrorist bombing that killed nine students and staff that same year.

When Hidmi was released from prison after serving three years for his terror activities, he requested to complete his doctorate at Hebrew University. An internal committee at Hebrew University gave him the go-ahead, but on a condition. Because Hidmi’s work centered on chemistry experiments which could aid in developing explosives according to Maariv, the university did not allow him to use their laboratories. Hidmi thus completed his research based on past experiments.

This past Sunday, Hidmi was awarded his doctorate degree along with 375 other researchers at Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus. Hebrew University released a statement declaring that “The University does not prohibit those with criminal backgrounds from studying within its gates. The work of Adel Hidmi – who completed serving his sentence – was considered academically worthy and he met all the requirements to receive doctorate degree. With that, note that Hidmi did not receive permission to use the university labs after his conviction.”

“I think it’s going too far to allow someone with Himdi’s record to study at Hebrew University,” said Elan, a third-year student in politics and communications. “It’s one thing to have a criminal record, but to have a terrorist record is entirely different matter.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Hebrew University criminology student, Adi Golan organized a protest against the university’s decision along with other student movements including Im Tirtzu.

“We organized this protest because we don’t believe it’s legitimate to allow someone who has a terrorist background to earn a doctorate in a subject like chemistry,” Golan told Tazpit News Agency. “Who knows how he [Hidmi] will use the academic and research knowledge he gained against Israel in the future?” she asked.

Top American Comedians Joke for Israel – in Israel

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Israel holds an important place for Avi Liberman, an LA-based comedian who has performed on such shows as CBS’s “Late Late Show” with Craig Ferguson and appears frequently on Comedy Central and E!

The Israel-born, Texas-raised comedian visits Israel twice a year, bringing with him some of America’s best comics on a biannual comedy tour of the country. The comics perform to raise funds for The Koby Mandell Foundation, which assists families and children who are victims of terror.

Liberman himself has arranged widely acclaimed Stand Up for Israel comedy tours since 2001, following a visit during the Second Intifada, where he discovered that many of his old friends were not going out at night because of terrorist attacks.

“I wanted to give people a night out, so that they could laugh a little bit during that very tense time,” Liberman says. Subsequently, the LA comedian began organizing successful comedy tours across Israel to help boost morale.

“There are two important elements to these tours,” Liberman elaborates in an interview with Tazpit News Agency. “First, these top-tier comedians get to do something important for the community here. They don’t just come to tour and see the sites, but they actually perform their material to audiences for an important cause.”

“And while the comedians are here, they also get to see the positive side of Israel,” Liberman explains.

“It is important that Israel get some good press. Many times, I encounter comedians who think of Israel in the context of war. There is obviously a lot more to this country than those headlines,” he says.

“It’s difficult to get comedians to come on these trips,” Liberman admits. “But when they do agree to come, they are just amazed by what they see and encounter.”

The Comedy for Koby May 2013 tour began on May 22 with shows in Beit Shemesh, Modiin, Jerusalem, Raanana, Tel Aviv and Gush Etzion. While much of the audience is made up of Anglos, there are Israelis who also attend the shows, according to Liberman.

The May tour features several top comedians including Wayne Federman, who has performed on The Tonight Show and appeared on The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Legally Blonde, 50 First Dates, Funny People and Curb Your Enthusiasm, among many other shows and movies.

On Sunday night, May 26, during the Jerusalem show, Federman, who performed in Israel 10 years ago with Liberman, joked with the audience about some elements of Israeli life including driving and finding a parking space. “Israelis are some of the calmest and most relaxed drivers in the world,” he quipped, following with a song about Tel Aviv, entitled “I Think I Found a Parking Space.”

For the other comedians, like Ralph Harris who has appeared in Evan Almighty as well as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O’Brien, coming to Israel was a surreal experience. “It’s amazing to actually be here in Jerusalem after reading about this city,” he said.

Comedian Dennis Regan, who claims he knows some Hebrew, opened the Jerusalem show. Regan has made multiple appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman and has toured nationally for many years. This is the tenth year of Comedy for Koby tour, which has brought a slew of North American comedians to Israel.

The Koby Mandell Foundation was created by Rabbi Seth and Sherri Mandell, following the brutal murder of their 13-year-old son Koby and his friend Yosef Ishran by Arab terrorists, on May 18, 2001, while the boys were hiking near their home.

The foundation provides individuals and families with psychological and emotional support, as well as therapeutic programming for children who have been victimized by terror attacks and tragedy. The foundation’s website reports that in more than a decade, terrorism has claimed more than 1,300 lives in Israel, and has left more than 6,000 Israelis wounded, while impacting an estimated 50,000 Israelis.

Showing the power of humor in dealing with tragedy, the Mandells always make sure to open the first act of the Comedy for Koby tour with a couple of jokes of their own.

The last two acts of the comedy tour will take place in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, May 28 and Gush Etzion on Wednesday, May 29. Tickets can be ordered online at www.comedyforkoby.com or by phone at 052-798-5200.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/top-american-comedians-joke-for-israel-in-israel/2013/05/28/

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