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December 29, 2014 / 7 Tevet, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘victims of terror’

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.

A Nation in Unity on Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Remembrance Day

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Israel’s flag is waving at half mast and the memory of 23,169 lost Israeli soldiers and victims of terror has quieted the nation on Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Remembrance Day.

No music plays in the neighborhoods, and children are not laughing today on the streets. A somber air is felt throughout the country as Israelis remember their fallen.

Some of those are not even Jewish. They are Bedouin or Druze or Circassians who have thrown in their lot with their Jewish neighbors. They, too, have paid the price.

Few indeed are those in this country who have not lost at least one family member in military action or terror, or are not close to someone who has, in the struggle to fulfill the mitzvah to hold this Holy Land, Eretz Tzion, Israel.

By age 16, all Jewish teens in Israel receive their first IDF notice, summoning them for exams to determine a medical, educational and psychological fitness profile. The IDF recently announced it will soon begin to send voluntary draft notices to all Christian Israelis, offering them the chance to enlist in Israel’s army as well.

By 18, most boys and girls in this country are smiling and nervously getting into fitted green or camel-colored uniforms, queuing up at central bus stations before and after Shabbat and talking about what happened in their new units “at the base.”

They’re babies, really — babies learning how to face killers; other babies fed on evil hatred since birth. Last year, 40 died, though some of those were reservists, IDF soldiers who return to serve 30 days a year to help the “newbies” and the career soldiers keep Israel safe from its enemies. “Reservists” can be soldiers in their 20s — or as old as 40.

“It is difficult, if not impossible, to show those that haven’t experienced it the size of the grief that befell us, the intensity of the shock that grasps us, and the sense of loss that fills us,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu explained at Monday’s ceremony at Mount Herzl military cemetery, attended also by President Shimon Peres, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and a host of other officials.

Paraphrasing and slightly changing a well-known Psalm of King David, he said, “There, we sat at the graves of our loved ones, and wept, and we remembered our loved ones that fell for the sake of Zion.”

Sweeping the entire People of Israel into unity with Israel’s grief over its fallen, the prime minister said, “On this day, the entire people relates to the heroes of the nation. They come from all parts of the nation and from all parts of society. The simple truth that is the most concise is this: we would not be here if it were not for their sacrifice.

“Even if it means unparalleled pain, a great miracle happened here. Israel returned to her country, to her home, established a state and did wonders, but at this moment we should not forget that it is a privilege to be here.”

People came to their feet across the country as a siren wailed into the skies at 11 o’clock in the morning, reminding Israelis of the price paid for peace, and Israel’s defense.

A candle lighting ceremony at the Western Wall last night, announced by the nationwide siren at eight o’clock in the evening, also featured an address by President Peres.

“We, the Israelis, are not like every people,” the president pointed out. “Already for years a sad generation hasn’t relaxed, hasn’t been able to enjoy a time of happiness. Our joy is always missing. A cloud of sadness envelops us. It is deeply hidden, but one can see it in our eyes.”

The president spoke of parents who lost their children, “the image of the soldiers that fell in Israel’s wars… They did not have time to plant a tree. They didn’t taste the full flavor of love. They left behind you, the bereaved families… and us, the friends, to painfully remember.”

Bereaved Families Beg Prime Minister ‘Stay Away’ on Memorial Day

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Families of victims of terror have sent a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asking him to stay away from Memorial Day ceremonies at the Mt. Herzl military cemetery.

The Israeli national holiday of Yom Hazikaron — Israel’s Memorial Day — falls on the fourth day in the Hebrew month of Iyar,  which this year is Sunday, May 4.

“Please spare us and other families of the victims of terror from your speech this year,” reads the letter drafted by bereaved parents Yossi Tzur and Ron Kerman.

“Please do not come to the ceremony on Mt. Herzl and please do not speak.

“Since last year’s ceremony you released murderers three times. Three times that you tore at our hearts and ripped at our flesh! If we were really that important and you really joined us in our grief, you would have had the ability to prevent us from suffering once again for nothing.

“We’ve heard plenty of cliches, slogans and hollow promises in your speeches. You do not mean a word of it and we no longer believe in you and any word you say. Your words will fall on deaf ears; leave us alone and let us be together in peace and dignity with our loved ones.”

Overcoming Grief through Cooking

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

OneFamily is an Israeli national organization which assists Israeli victims of terror by providing emotional, financial, and legal assistance. Since 2001, One Family has supported 1,322 families of injured terror victims, 1,340 bereaved families, and 983 injured and bereaved children and teenagers. The OneFamily organization was started upon the initiative of a 12-year-old girl, Michal Belzberg, who decided to cancel her Bat Mitzvah after the Sbarro Pizzeria terror attack during the Second Intifada, choosing instead to raise funds for the victims of this particular terror attack.

The Belzberg family rose over $100,000, thus establishing OneFamily. OneFamily presently consists of 37 professionals and over 700 volunteers, who helps’ Israeli bereaved families struggle with the Israeli bureaucracy, deal with the effects of post traumatic stress disorder, and even to host social events, providing a community for bereaved families to receive support from one another, among other things. Recently, OneFamily has compiled a cookbook, featuring the favorite recipes of Israelis who were murdered by Palestinian terrorists. The initiative for this particular cookbook was orchestrated by Dina Kit, office manager at OneFamily.

HOW THE COOKBOOK PROJECT STARTED

According to Rachel Moore, spokesperson for OneFamily, Dina Kit’s

oldest son died from illness, and her other children were then exempt from the army. Her middle son insisted he wanted to volunteer for the army anyway, and while serving was killed by a suicide bomber near his tank. Dina realized that she simply stopped cooking some of her most frequent recipes since they reminded her so much of her sons, and all that she had lost. She knew from her experiences at OneFamily that she wasn’t the only mother that had a connection between certain recipes and their lost children, and she decided that they should create a cookbook together.

Moore explained,

She found that in preparation of the cookbook, she found a way to cook the foods that she had completely stopped making – as did other mothers. It was through Dina’s insight as a bereaved mother herself, her personal relationship with the other bereaved mothers through her work at OneFamily and her understanding that so often healing comes through doing – and sharing – that she understood the need for this unique project.

ONE FAMILY EVENT FEATURING BEREAVED MOTHERS

Recently, OneFamily hosted an event for a group of Americans and South Africans, where the Israeli bereaved mothers got a chance to present their recipes and the stories behind them. Among the stories featured were that of Erez Turgeman, who was killed when Palestinian terrorists attacked his military outpost on February 19, 2002 (represented by no-bake biscuit cake); Staff Sergeant Dvir Emanuelof, who was killed by a mortar shell in 2009 (represented by challah bread); Idit Mizrahi, who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists who ambushed her vehicle, and Shahar Mizrahi, who was killed while serving in the IDF (represented by potato latkes).

The Americans and South Africans who attended this event responded quite well to it. Moore explained,

The program allows them to learn about OneFamily, learn about those that have been killed, but breaks down barriers and connects them in a powerful way with other mothers through the universal experience of preparing food for one’s family. They really have a chance to get to know these mothers and it is an uplifting experience that is touching and fun. They see how these women are celebrating the children they lost, not just grieving. Many of the women said they were determined to go home and continue to support these families through OneFamily as well as pass along the memory of these fallen children by sharing their stories at home…. and they all want the recipes when they are done!”

The publication of the cookbook is pending on increased donations to OneFamily.

The bereaved mothers, however, had varying reactions to the event. According to Moore,

Some of the bereaved mothers who come and participate in this workshop do so because it lightens their heart, they are passing along the memories of their children; they are making new friends and sharing their stories. It is a part of their healing process. But for others, it is very difficult to take off a Thursday morning and struggle with retelling their story and with the language barrier. It isn’t always easy or pleasurable for them to share. But they do it happily, and want to come; they are motivated by their tremendous gratitude to OneFamily for all that has been done to support them and their families. They voluntarily choose to participate as a way of giving back to OneFamily. We are grateful for their participation.

Visit United with Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/united-with-israel/overcoming-grief-through-cooking/2013/05/29/

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