March 15, 2017
News Press Release

ZOA Praises DOJ Invoking ZOA Passed Bill to Extradite Arab Killer of Americans

ZOA Initiated and Successfully Lobbied for the 2005 Law Creating the DOJ Office to Capture Arab Killers of Americans

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:

The ZOA praises the DOJ and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, for becoming the first DOJ to demand extradition from Jordan of a Jordanian-born Hamas terrorist responsible for the murder and injury of Americans in Jerusalem, Israel.  (See DOJ March 14, 2017 Release: Individual Charged in Connection With 2001 Terrorist Attack in Jerusalem That Resulted in Death of Americans.)  The DOJ also unsealed the criminal complaint charging terrorist Ahlam Aref Ahmad Al-Tamimi with these murders, and the FBI has now added Al-Tamami to its “Most Wanted Terrorists” list.  Al-Tamami planned and helped execute the Sbarro Pizza bombing in Jerusalem, Israel on August 9, 2001, that killed 15 innocent people, including two U.S. nationals and 7 children (8 children if the unborn child of a murdered pregnant woman is included), and that injured 122 other innocent people, including four Americans.  

Al-Tamimi bragged about her role in the Sbarro Pizza bombing, and recounted how she spent nine days scouting out a location and time when and where a bomb would murder and maim the most civilians.  (See video interview posted on “US Makes 1st Extradition Request For Hamas Terrorist Who Killed Americans,” by Yonah Jeremy Bob, Jerusalem Post, Mar. 14, 2017, translated by PMW.)  During her video interview (see above) Al-Tamimi smiled at the thought that 3 Jewish children had been murdered – and when she was informed that her bombs had murdered 8 children, she smiled even more happily.

The ZOA developed and spent years lobbying for, and in 2005 ultimately obtained passage of a law establishing the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism, to capture the Palestinian Arab killers of what was then nearly 100 Americans and to seek financial compensation for the victims’ families.  

Al-Tamami had pleaded guilty and was sentenced by an Israeli court to 16 life terms in prison, but was released after serving only 8 years in prison, in the 2011 exchange of over one thousand Palestinian Arab terrorists for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped and held by Hamas for 5 years.

Both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas gave Al-Tamimi monetary rewards for murdering Jews.  Incredibly, Al-Tamimi now hosts her own television show for Hamas-affiliated Al-Quds TV station in Jordan, and appears on other Arab television to incite terrorism against innocent Jews. 

Background: ZOA Initiated the Law To Bring Palestinian Arab Terrorists Such As Al-Tamimi to Justice:

During the horrific Second Intifada (2000-2005), Palestinian-Arab terrorists murdered almost 2,000 innocent Jews and injured almost 10,000 innocent Jews in bombings of buses, cafes, Passover Seders and other civilian gatherings.  The Sbarro pizza bombing was one of these many attacks.  Many American citizens were among the victims of these bombings.  Yet, although the U.S. worked to apprehend the perpetrators of attacks on Americans in other parts of the world, U.S. officials did little or nothing to bring to justice the Palestinian-Arab perpetrators of attacks on Americans in Israel – even though the perpetrators’ whereabouts were often known. 

The ZOA developed and spent years lobbying for, and in 2005 ultimately obtained passage of a law establishing the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism, to capture the Palestinian Arab killers of what was then nearly 100 Americans and to seek financial compensation for the victims’ families.  

The families of previous American victims, including Koby Mandell’s mother and Alisa Flatow’s father, thanked ZOA for their work.  Stephen Flatow stated: “We want to thank the Zionist Organization of America for being the only organization to have made this bill and this fight a priority and being relentless in their pursuit of justice. We also want to thank the House and Senate for their great work in this important step against anti-American terrorism.”  (See, e.g., A Victory for ZOA: Koby Mandell Act Becomes Law,” Spring 2005; and “250 ZOA Activists Lobby U.S. Congress,” June 13, 2002.) 

The New York Times and the Jerusalem Post and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency ran major stories highlighting ZOA’s efforts and success in passing this US Law. I’m proud to say that many Jewish leaders personally called Morton Klein to thank him for ZOA’s successful effort and achievement. 

ZOA President Morton Klein personally worked on the final legislation and mechanism for enactment together with  former Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA).  Other key sponsors were former Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Rick Santorum (R-PA); Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R- FL); and former Representatives Rob Andrews (D-N.J.), and Jim Saxton (R-N.J.).

New DOJ Activism is a Welcome Change:

The DOJ’s request for extradition of a murderer of Americans in Israel is a welcome change.  For too long, the U.S. efforts to bring to Justice the murderers of American Jews in Israel were woefully insufficient, despite the law that the ZOA worked so hard for. 

Outrageously, the Obama administration’s DOJ even took the side of PLO/PA terrorists against the victims, after the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York held that the PLO and PA were responsible for attacks that murdered Americans during the Second Intifada.  Obama’s DOJ filed a statement with the Court opposing requiring the PLO/PA to file an appeal bond.  Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch ignored ZOA’s letter asking her to not to side with the terrorists against the American victims of Palestinian Arab terror.  (See ZOA Condemns Obama Admin. For Aiding PLO/PA In Terror Case,” Aug. 12, 2015, and ZOA’s August 5, 2015 letter to former Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, urging the U.S. government not to intervene, and asking her to “side with the victims of terrorism, not with the terrorists”).

The ZOA thus wishes to thank the new DOJ, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, for its strong actions to finally bring to justice the perpetrators of the murders of innocent Americans.