Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Terrorism Not in Violation of Norm?

This from Greg at Rhymes with Right:

Arab Bank Asks Judge To Dismiss Suit Accusing It of Funding Terror
BY JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN - Staff Reporter of the Sun
August 1, 2006URL:

The Jordan-based Arab Bank yesterday asked a federal judge in Brooklyn to dismiss a lawsuit brought by thousands of Israelis who claim the bank fueled terrorism by providing payments to the relatives of suicide bombers.

Lawyers for the bank said that the 4,000 foreign citizens who are plaintiffs should not be allowed to have their case heard in the American court system. They argued that terrorism against Israel does not violate any "international norm." Lawyers for the bank said that some 80 countries, most Islamic or African, do not consider Palestinian Arab suicide bombers to be terrorists.

"One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter — that holding is binding on this court," said an attorney for the bank, Kevin Walsh of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene and MacRae.

The plaintiffs who are suing Arab Bank in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn are the victims of terrorist attacks during the second intifada and the relatives of victims. While the overwhelming majority are citizens of Israel, some plaintiffs are from Afghanistan, Moldova, and several other countries.

They claim that Arab Bank — which has an office in New York — used offices in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to distribute payments to people who could prove they were relatives of recent suicide bombers.

The plaintiffs are suing under a 217 year-old-law, the Alien Tort Statute, which has been used by foreign citizens to bring lawsuits in America's federal courts stemming from human rights violations that occurred anywhere in the world.

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling last year that suggests that only the foreign victims of the most egregious human rights violations — such as genocide and slavery — can file suit under the law. One standard the Supreme Court employed was whether the lawsuits stem from violations of norms that have been accepted by "civilized nations."

The debate at yesterday's hearing was whether terrorism against Israel constitutes such a violation. (Article continues. Check link for more.)

How anyone can argue that "terrorism against Israel does not violate any 'international norm'" is beyond me. Even if it were a norm, should we all jump on the ol' bandwagon? Let's see, a bunch of Islamic countries support the blowing up Israeli families in cafes, for example, and we're supposed to say "Gee, there's so many of them. I guess they must be right"?

"Freedom fighters", huh? What freedom are they fighting for? The freedom to kill Jews? The freedom to destroy Israel? That doesn't wash with me.

Just when we thought the world was as nuts as possible...

Rhymes with Right has been following the Israeli-Lebonese/Palestinian conflict closely. Check out his site for the latest information and commentary.


At 8/02/2006 8:47 AM, Blogger Duffy said...

Terrorism isn't what you're fighting for, it's how you are fighting for it. It's a tactic, not a merely an adjective.

The lawyer chose a stupid arguement. Rather, I think he should argue that the plaintiffs have no standing in US courts.

The Bush administration will not be pleased if the court freezes the assets of a Jordanian bank. They're one of the few Arab countries that we have as a friend.


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