A group of New York State rabbis has banded together to urge New York’s senior Congressman Jerrold Nadler, leader of the House Judiciary Committee, to enforce the extradition of convicted Sbarro terrorist Ahlam Tamimi.
Thank you to so many of district rabbis & leaders for getting on board to support this important cause! pic.twitter.com/NTrvi4wRii
— Rabbi E. Poupko (@RabbiPoupko) July 23, 2019
The case dates back to 2001, when a suicide bomber entered the crowded Sbarro pizza shop in central Jerusalem and blew himself up, murdering 15 civilians, including seven children and a pregnant woman. In addition, 130 people were injured. Among the dead were two American citizens: Malka Roth and Judith Greenbaum, pregnant with her first child.
A third U.S. citizen was wounded and left in a vegetative state; as a result, Joanne Chana Nachenberg has not been counted among the dead, although she does not function among the living either.
In the United States on March 14, 2017 the Department of Justice announced federal charges against Ahlam Tamimi, now a Jordanian national, who participated in the massacre and who was convicted under Israeli law years ago. She served time but was freed from Israeli prison as part of the terrorist prisoner swap deal for captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
Tamimi was charged under U.S. federal law with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against U.S. nationals outside the United States, resulting in death. The announcement called Tamimi “an unrepentant terrorist who admitted to her role in a deadly terrorist bombing” that resulted in massive casualties.
But despite appearing on the “FBI Most Wanted Terrorist” list, with a $5 million bounty on her head, Tamimi continues to live fearlessly in Jordan, proud of her “accomplishment.”
The family members of the terror victims have reached out repeatedly to the Department of Justice and State Department officials seeking to understand why she has not been extradited to the United States from Jordan but have received no meaningful reply, said the letter written by the group of rabbis and community leaders from across the Tenth Congressional District of New York.
“We . . . appeal to you in your role as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to seek the enforcement of DOJ policy and demand the enforcement of the 1995 Jordan-US Extradition Treaty,” the letter reads in part. “We demand the DOJ stand by its word and enforce its own policies. We are asking your Committee to inquire into whether the State Department is properly coordinating with the Justice Department as well as taking appropriate action necessary to bring Tamimi to America for justice.”
Among the signatories to the letter are Rabbi Menachem Genack of Congregation Shomrei Emunah; Rabbi Chezky Wolff, Tribeca Synagogue and Chabad of Tribeca; Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chancellor Emeritus and Rosh HaYeshiva of Ohr Torah Stone and founding rabbi of the Lincoln Square Synagogue; Rabbi Shaul Robinson, Senior Rabbi of Lincoln Square Synagogue; Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman, Senior Rabbi Congregation Ohav Shalom and numerous others.