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Monday, June 11, 2012

Jerusalem man asks US to seize Mavi Marmara and other blockade running vessels

Taking advantage of an obscure statute, an American citizen residing in Jerusalem has brought an action in the United States asking that the US seize the Mavi Marmara and 12 other ships that attempted to run Israel's legal blockade of Gaza.
Dr. Alan J. Bauer, an American citizen living in Jerusalem, filed the suit last June in the US federal court in New York with the help of Shurat HaDin (The Israel Law Center).

The precedent-setting lawsuit, which has since been transferred to the District of Columbia District Court, asks the US authorities to seize the flotilla vessels on the grounds that groups and individuals – including the Free Gaza and US to Gaza campaigns – violated US law by raising funds in the US to furnish and fit out the ships, whose intent was to commit hostilities against US ally Israel.


Significantly, in the lawsuit, Bauer argues that he is acting as an “informer” to the US authorities under section 962 of the US Code of Laws, an old and rarely-used piece of legislation that allows a plaintiff to seize vessels outfitted in the US for use against an American ally state. The legislation entitles the informer to 50 percent of the proceeds of the forfeited ships.

Last week, US District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras asked the US Department of Justice to file a statement of interest by June 29, regarding whether Bauer as a private citizen has the legal standing to bring the lawsuit.

According to Bauer, Contreras’s question raises the issue of who is capable of bringing such a suit under US law, specifically whether Bauer is able to do so as a private citizen or whether the US government itself would need to act as the plaintiff – which it would likely decline to do.

In his letter to Holder, Bauer asks the US attorney-general to file to the court a statement of interest in support of the lawsuit.

This, he said, would “send a powerful message that US citizens and organizations will face consequences for acting against US law even for humanitarian purposes.”

“Terror victims have looked to the US government for support in our efforts to hold terrorists and their enablers accountable for their actions. Those involved in last year’s flotilla openly sided with Hamas and other terror organizations that reject Israel’s right to exist,” Bauer wrote in the letter to Holder.

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At 3:13 PM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Good luck with this. If it were the Bush Administration, who were more willing to consider law in their operations, this would have a chance. But these Obama/Holder people have sent guns to Mexico, resulting in the *deaths* of U.S. personnel and hundreds of Mexican civilians. They are lawless and seemingly have salted the U.S. soil in such a way that they and their lawless cronies are getting away with all of it, consequence free... Unless these guys luck into some judicial people with a spine, I have my doubts. Mostly, Americans! we need to vote out the Dems, top to bottom!


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