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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Shurat Hadin’

Jordan’s Arab Bank Goes on Trial in NY for Terror Financing

Monday, August 11th, 2014

A worldwide legal earthquake is about to begin in Brooklyn, where the Jordan-based Arab Bank goes on trial today (Monday) for authorizing money transfers from terror entities to Hamas members abroad.

The case, a lawsuit by the families of US victims of terror, has been 10 years in the making and revolves around ‘martyr payments’ to the relatives of Hamas suicide bombers via the Jordan-based Arab Bank through its New York branch during the second intifada.

The plaintiffs claim in their suit the Bank has violated Section 2339B of Title 18 of the US Code, which makes it illegal for an entity within the United States to provide material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations. Hamas is included on that list. Attorney Gary Osen of Osen LLC is the lead attorney in the case.

This is the first-ever civil trial targeting terrorist financing, one that has dragged on for a decade because Arab Bank has worked just that hard to fight it — or at least to delay the proceedings as long as possible. When the Supreme Court rejected the Bank’s petition to hear the case in June, the way was paved for today’s hearing in Brooklyn.

In April 2013, a New York Federal Court penalizing the Bank with an order imposing sanctions for refusing to submit documents for review by the plaintiffs to determine whether they could be used as evidence in the case.

That order raised Cain between three agencies at the federal level in the Obama administration – the US State Department, the Justice Department, and the Treasury Department – as officials tried to decide just how to deal with this delicate but dirty matter that affects not one, but at least two or more of America’s closest allies in the Middle East.

The Bank claimed it refused to submit the documents because it could have violated bank secrecy laws in Jordan and Lebanon. The lower US court was having none of that and ruled a jury could interpret that to mean an automatic admission of guilt on the part of the Bank.

In a pre-trial statement to Forbes, the Bank commented, “The facts show that Arab Bank provided routine banking service in compliance with applicable counter terrorism laws and regulations, and had no intention of providing support to Hamas or any other known terrorist organization.”

The Bank is accused of facilitating massive money transfers from 1998 to 2004 to Hamas leaders and institutions, as well as to the families of jailed Hamas members and suicide bombers. The money allegedly came from insurance benefits provided by the Saudi Committee and the Hezbollah al-Shahid Foundation. Both supported the intifada by providing benefits to the families of those who “martyred” themselves or who became injured or captured by the IDF in the process.

The insurance was “ultimately designed to provide substantial material support to Palestinian terrorist organizations and to provide a meaningful incentive both to prospective recruits and to individuals contemplating the commission of independent acts of violence in the name of the ‘popular resistance’,” according to the complaint, as quoted by Business Insider.

There were five attacks specified in the complaint in which Arab Bank allegedly facilitated money transfers to the relatives of Hamas terrorists. One was the October 2003 case of John Linde Jr., murdered with two other security officers while escorting US diplomats to interview Palestinian Arab candidates for Fulbright Scholarships. The three were killed by an IED (improvised explosive device, also known as a ‘homemade bomb’) in northern Gaza. A second involved 3-year-old Tehilla Nathansen, killed while sitting on her mother’s lap when terrorists blew up the No. 2 bus in Jerusalem in August 2003. A third child, 8th grader Jacob Mandell, was killed in a hail of rocks hurled by attacking Palestinian Arabs along with another friend while hiking in May 2001. And so on.

Israel Preparing to take the Palestinian Authority to the Hague

Friday, April 11th, 2014

In cooperation with the Israeli government, an Israeli NGO, Shurat Hadin – The Israel Law Center, is preparing the infrastructure for taking senior members of the Palestinian Authority to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for their role and participation in terror attacks, according to a report in Makor Rishon.

The claims will be submitted to the court if Palestinian Authority president, Abu Mazen, decides to launch a lawfare attack against Israel at the ICJ. The Palestinian Authority has been threatening to take Israel to the Hague since its status was upgraded in the UN.

Israel has begun taking multiple retaliatory steps in response to the Palestinian Authority breaching the peace talks agreement by taking unilateral actions by applying to various UN groups, and refusing to extend the talks.

Shurat HaDin, an Israeli NGO that defends the legal rights of terror victims, initiated the idea. Various Israeli government offices will be assisting Shurat HaDin in preparing the lawsuits against senior Palestinian Authority officials in the ICJ.

Last year Shurat HaDin began a series of high profile lawsuits in the U.S. against the PA and others involved in terrorism against Israelis. A few of the cases resulted in judgement with high payouts to the victims.

Nitzana Dershan-Leitner, who founded and runs Shurat HaDin, says the purpose of preparing these lawsuits is to discourage the PA from filing any lawsuits in the Hague.

Dershan-Leitner said that as soon as the ICJ Criminal Court recognizes the Palestinian Authority and allows them to sue Israel, it then creates a two-way street, and which allows the PA and its officials to be sued in return, in the same court. The [terrorist] crimes the PA and its officials have committed is far worse than anything they are claiming against Israel.

Dershan-Leitner added that Shurat HaDin has clear documentation in its possession as to who committed and who is behind each terror attack

The Ultimate Mission to Israel

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

The Tel Aviv based civil rights group, Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, has announced it will be hosting another of it’s “Ultimate Mission to Israel” this May 26, through June 2, 2014. The organization which pioneered the use of civil lawsuits and legal actions against the Palestinian and Islamic terrorist organizations in courtrooms worldwide, has been conducting cutting-edge tours of Israel since 2003. The eight day long May trip promises to provide participants with a behind the scenes view of the extreme security challenges the Jewish State is currently facing.

According to Shurat HaDin’s director, attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner: “The Ultimate Mission is a first hand and dynamic investigation of the strategic battle being waged against the terrorist groups who threaten Israel’s survival including Hezbollah in the North, the Syrians on the Golan and the PLO and Hamas on our other borders. This is the real Israel as seen through the eyes of the IDF commanders, the intelligence analysts, and strategic policy makers who shape and lead Israel’s multifaceted war on terrorism.”

From field trips to the Lebanese and Syrian front lines to briefings with Mossad officials and private talks with Israeli war heroes, senior members of the government and former Arab undercover operatives, travelers will discover that the Ultimate Mission offers unparalleled access at an incredible value into the military, humanitarian, judicial, religious and political reality of the Jewish State. You’ll experience first hand how Israel is fighting for its survival in the geopolitical reality of the Middle East today. The tour includes such hotspots as the Erez Crossing into Gaza, exclusive visits to IDF bases, observing a Hamas court trial and an insider’s tour of the controversial security fence. It allows participants to put a visual picture to the places making world headlines everyday.

Situated at the crossroads of three continents – Europe, Asia, and Africa – and in the midst of the political hotbed that is the Middle East, Israel is an intriguing and alluring travel destination where culture, religion and politics coalesce. It is filled with diversity and intrigue calling to travelers from all corners of the world. Participants on the Ultimate Mission will discover that the issues in the Israeli-Arab conflict are not black and white, but rather complex narratives intertwined in both the physical landscape as well as the historical memories binding the Israeli people. Atvs on the Syrian Border

With shores that touch the Mediterranean and Red Sea and borders that span from Syria to Egypt, options for adventure and activity abound. The Ultimate Mission includes both scenic and cultural opportunities such as going ATV’ing on the Golan Heights, boating in the moonlight on the Sea of Galilee, touring along the border with Gaza and also celebrating a traditional Shabbat dinner in the Old City of Jerusalem. The tour is strictly kosher and the program “Shomer Shabbat.”

With so much to see, learn and experience, Shurat HaDin prides itself on the fact that this travel program is designed by specialists with a deep knowledge and a unique level of access into the fabric of what and who really composes life here in Israel. “Our professional team of tour organizers will accompany the group every step of the way creating a first class experience that will open each participant’s eyes to the wonders of Israel, making them want to come back and visit again,” says Darshan-Leitner.

Howard Feldman of Del Mar California, who has attended several of the prior Ultimate Mission trips, states: “Before my first mission, I checked references. One of them happened to be a friend who had traveled to Israel 25 times. She told me it was the best trip she ever attended, and she was repeating it again. The trip promises many interesting experiences, and delivers in spades. I would recommend this to anyone, especially someone who has visited Israel before. Outstanding program – I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!”

The Ultimate Mission participants are expected to leave this experience with a newfound understanding of the complex environment both from which this country was born and is still struggling within. With 5 star accommodations, luxury transportation, a personal cell phone and the highest level of Kosher culinary delights accompanying participants along the way, one should not miss out on the chance of a lifetime to explore Israel as one never could before.

As Darshan-Leitner explains: “The crisis over Syrian chemical weapons, the chaos in Egypt, the escalating Hezbullah missile threat and the Iranian nuclear program have created a new reality for Israel’s military and security services that the May 2014 Ultimate Mission will explore in depth. The briefings by the intelligence and IDF officials amazed our earlier groups as they clearly exhibited the extreme challenges Israel is facing in the on-going war against the terrorists. No other tour has ever presented the hard-core realities of Israel’s struggle for survival like the Ultimate Mission.”

Those seeking further information about the Ultimate Mission and the costs involved are requested to email: mission@israellawcenter.org or call: 212-591-0073 or 646-661-2811.

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.”

Court Orders Livni to Respond to Lawsuit of PA Terror Victims

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Israel’s Supreme Court has given Justice Minister Tzipi Livni one week to respond to a lawsuit by an Israeli NGO representing victims of Palestinian terror victims in a case against the Bank of China.

On Tuesday, the court put its time mandate on Livni hours after the Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center filed a suit requesting information issued by the New York District Court under the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters.

In November, the Israeli government filed a petition with the U.S. federal court seeking to block the testimony of former Israeli intelligence official Uzi Shaya, saying he would divulge state secrets.

Shaya, according to reports, in 2005 alerted Chinese security officials to suspicious transactions, including transfers of money to terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Some 22 families of victims of Palestinian suicide bombers who brought the suit accuse the Bank of China of funding terrorist organizations through U.S. accounts. They are seeking millions of dollars in damages; a guilty verdict under anti-terrorism laws also could affect the bank’s ability to continue conducting business in the United States.

The families, through Shurat HaDin director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, requested specific documents from the justice minister last June as well as the testimony of Shaya. No response or documents have been forthcoming, according to Shurat HaDin

“We have filed this suit today as we believe Minister Livni is culpable not only of failing in her duties under the Hague Convention, but of failing the Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism in their quest for justice,” Darshan-Leitner said in a statement Tuesday.

A similar case against the bank was brought by the family of American student Daniel Wultz, who was killed in a 2006 terror attack in Tel Aviv.

Shurat HaDin Files Racism Lawsuit against Sydney U BDS Supporter

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

An Israel-based group launched legal action against an Australian academic whom it claims breached racial vilification laws by boycotting Israeli academics.

Shurat HaDin, the Israel Law Center, filed the lawsuit in the Federal Court of Australia this week against Jake Lynch, the director of the Center for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney.

The lawsuit focuses on Lynch’s refusal to sponsor an application for a fellowship in Australia by Dan Avnon, an Israeli academic from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, because of Lynch’s support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.

Andrew Hamilton, a Sydney-born lawyer with Shurat HaDin, took the matter to the Federal Court after mediation between the parties at the Australian Human Rights Commission failed to solve the dispute.

He alleges Lynch’s support for the BDS campaign is in breach of the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act.

Lynch argued that he had the right to refuse sponsoring Avnon because of his center’s pro-BDS stance. The lawsuit is “a despicable attack on freedom of expression, which is backed ultimately by the Israeli security state,” Lynch was quoted as saying in The Australian newspaper.

In a Facebook post on the University of Sydney BDS activists’ page, Shurat HaDin says that it is lawful to criticize Israel’s policies. But it adds: “It is not lawful to boycott Israeli people and businesses because of disagreement with those policies. If you keep on the right side of this line you will not be prosecuted.”

Hamilton is seeking a court order requiring Lynch to apologize and desist from supporting BDS.

BDS Movement Suffers Defeat in SEC Divestment Battle

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

The antisemitic BDS movement suffered a major defeat this week when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) authorized pension fund giant TIAA-CREF to exclude a resolution calling for divestments from Israeli companies from the ballot at the fund’s upcoming shareholders meeting. The resolution, put forward by a small band of extremist shareholders, would have allowed TIAA-CREF‘s full membership to vote on the resolution at the meeting in North Carolina in July. In the wake of the SEC ruling, however, the resolution will now not be presented to the shareholders and will not be voted upon at all.

Following the submission of the divestment resolution, TIAA-CREF officials had written to the SEC requesting that it be permitted, due to its biased and anti-Israel political content, to “take no action” on the resolution. Essentially, it was asked that they be allowed to leave it off the ballot completely and ignored.

Shurat HaDin sent a warning letter to TIAA-CREF last month informing its leadership that the boycott resolution was a violation of both federal and New York State law and that any effort by the pension fund to implement it would be illegal.  The letter noted that New York law defines boycotts as “unlawful discriminatory practice” and that any decision to “refuse to buy from, sell to or trade with, or otherwise discriminate against any person, because of the…creed…[or ]national origin” is unlawful and even places secondary actors, aiding the policy, under liability.

Moreover, we warned the fund that should it pass and actually undertake to boycott Israeli companies, we would file suit on the companies’ behalf against TIAA-CREF, and ask both federal and state law enforcement agencies to take action against the fund’s leadership. We stressed that if the anti-Israel resolution passes, and TIAA-CREF does not expressly disavow it and refuse to comply with it, Shurat HaDin will be ready to immediately bring TIAA-CREF to court to ensure the enforcement of state and federal anti-discrimination and anti-boycott laws, and to ensure that Israeli companies and businesses are not harmed as a result of TIAA-CREF’s newly-adopted policy of discrimination. We also demanded that the extremist boycott resolution not be presented at all.

Last week, American counsel for Shurat HaDin contacted the SEC and discussed our concerns over the divestment resolution noting its anti-Semitic nature, the fact that it only targeted Israel and that it was a violation of the anti-boycott laws. We pointed out to the SEC that the TIAA-CREF’s corporate charter limits its proper function to conducting business ‘to aid and strengthen nonprofit colleges, universities’. As such, we could not understand how a biased and malicious resolution like this can properly be presented to their membership. The resolution violates standing laws, is contrary to public policy and must be abandoned.

We are very grateful that the SEC has now authorized TIAA-CREF to exclude the divestment resolution and not allow it to be voted upon.

The BDS movement is reeling from the SEC decision.  They were really hoping that the TIAA-CREF shareholder meeting in July was going to provide them a big public forum for a discussion of their anti-Semitic opinions and their efforts to scapegoat the Jewish State.  They believed they had the momentum this time to get a boycott resolution passed by a prestigious fund like the TIAA-CREF but the SEC ruling has put an end to all that.

So chalk up another victory for Israel’s supporters and another colossal failure for the BDS movement.  May all their extremist efforts meet the same fate.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bds-movement-suffers-defeat-in-sec-divestment-battle/2013/05/30/

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