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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

US to help 'Palestinian Authority' avoid payments to American terror victims?

The Washington Post reports today that the State Department is considering intervening in a series of cases in which hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments have been rendered against the 'Palestinian Authority' and in favor of the heirs of American victims of 'Palestinian' terror attacks. If State does intervene, it would be taking the terrorists' side against the American victims (Hat Tip: Culture for All).
Testimony in Israeli courts has connected senior Palestinian leaders -- such as the late Yasser Arafat -- to specific terrorist attacks involved in the lawsuits. But Palestinian officials have argued that it makes no sense for the United States to be providing millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority while U.S. courts are threatening to bankrupt it.
The 'Palestinian' officials are right about that. Maybe the US shouldn't be providing millions of dollars in aid to a terrorist organization.

Until now, the State Department has refused to get involved. But now, a US court has asked State to get involved by requesting something called a statement of interest, which effectively indicates that the United States government will intervene on the terrorists' behalf:
Citing Rice's letter to Abbas, the new legal team urged U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero to request a "statement of interest" from State because of the "international ramifications."

"The judgment's potential interference with American foreign policy presents a unique and exceptional circumstance justifying relief from a default judgment," the lawyers argued.

Marrero in December issued an order asking whether the United States contemplated issuing a statement of interest in the case. He gave the government 45 days to respond, but at the government's request, he recently extended the deadline until the end of February.
In 2001, when you were either 'with us or with the terrorists,' the Bush administration would have rejected such a request immediately. But with Bush and Condi chasing their 'legacy' at 'peace talks' that is no longer the case. The terror victims - who while they have won significant judgments have never collected a penny - are understandably distressed:
Victims, who will meet with top State and Justice Department officials tomorrow, said that a U.S. intervention with the courts would make a mockery of the administration's fight against terrorism.

Leslye Knox, a 46-year-old mother of six children and widow of Aharon Ellis, a U.S. citizen who was killed in 2002 while singing at a bar mitzvah in Hadera, Israel, said that she has sued under a law passed by Congress in 1990 after the murder of Leon Klinghoffer by terrorists who seized the Achille Lauro cruise ship. In 2006, a federal judge ordered the PLO and the Palestinian Authority to pay Knox and other Ellis relatives nearly $174 million, but nothing has been paid while Knox has struggled to support her family.

"Now here are the wrongdoers, they come to the government, and say, 'Hey, help us,' " Knox said. "It's hard to see why the government listens to them. It makes me feel like, 'Who is on my side?' "

"If the State Department tips the scales of justice against the victims in order to support adjudicated terrorists, the war on terrorism will be seen throughout the world as a farce," said David J. Strachman, a Rhode Island lawyer who has spearheaded many of the lawsuits.

The Justice Department will make the final decision, U.S. officials said. "A court has asked the U.S. government to inform it whether it is contemplating filing a statement of interest, but no decision has been made on how the U.S. government will respond," said State Department spokesman Tom Casey.
So now the US government is going to pretend that not only isn't the 'Palestinian Authority' involved in terrorism anymore, but it also never was involved in terrorism? In his boiling pot of lye in hell, Yasser Arafat is jumping up and down with joy this evening, screaming like a hyena.


At 11:48 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

Hi Carl,

All I can say is that the whole story is outrageous beyond belief. What sickens me most is the notion that if the State Department does prevent the collection of the payment, Israel will say nothing and do nothing.

Where is the protector of Am Yisrael? What has happened to Israel? The term 'never again' was supposed to mean something. It is empty words now.

At 12:53 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Of course there's the Israeli government that wants to do nothing offend Mahmoud Abbas, even though his regime sponsors and perpetrates terrorism against Israel.

Jewish terror victims can go fly a kite. That's the message Israel has sent Sderotis. No one can expect the State Department to be "more pure" towards PA terrorism than the Israeli government itself.

At 5:25 PM, Blogger justice for victims said...

Question Of The Moment????? What is the State Department doing to excute the Ashcroft-Salmon legislation(1999) which requires the State Deparment to report to Congress on EFFORTS!! to capture Palestinian killers of Amercian citizens!!!!!!


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