Koby Mandell Act Passes Congress: Opens Justice Dept. Office To Capture All Foreigners, Including Palestinian Arabs, Who Have Murdered Americans Overseas
December 6, 2004

ZOA Launched 3-Year
Campaign Beginning in 2001

NEW YORK – The Koby Mandell Act, named for a 13-year old American citizen murdered in Tekoa, Israel by a Palestinian Arab, has passed both houses of Congress. It is part of the FY2005 Omnibus Bill that will soon be signed by President Bush.

This bill, initiated by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) in 2001 with key Senate and House co-sponsors, will create a new office in the Department of Justice to capture all foreign nationals who have killed or harmed Americans overseas, including Palestinian Arabs

The bill was initially introduced to help rectify the U.S. government’s conspicuous failure to act against Palestinian Arabs who have murdered 52 Americans and injured 69 since the Oslo Process began in September, 1993; in stark contrast the government has pursued non-Palestinian Arab killers of Americans (a total of 107 Americans have been murdered by Palestinian Arabs since 1968; 120 more have been injured.)

The Koby Mandell Act was introduced in the Senate (S.684) by Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Arlen Specter (R-PA), Rick Santorum (R-PA), Sam Brownback (R-KS), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Wayne Allard (R-CO), Kit Bond (R-MI), Zell Miller (D-GA), Don Nickles (R-OK).

The House Bill (H.R. 401) was introduced by Reps. Rob Andrews (D-NJ), Jim Saxton (R-NJ), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Edward Schrock (R-VA), Mark Souder (R-IN), Henry Waxman (D-CA), and Joe Wilson (R-SC).

Tiferet Tratner, 24, is the most recent American killed by Palestinian Arabs on September 23, 2004. Other Americans killed by Palestinian Arabs include Alisa Flatow of NJ, Dovid Boim of NY, Nachman Wachsman of NY, Sara Duker of NJ, Matthew Eisenfeld of CT, Rabbi Hillel Lieberman of NY, and three diplomats: John Branchizio, 37, of Texas, John Linde, Jr., 30, of Missouri, and Mark Parsons, 31, of NJ.

The Palestinian Authority has continued to harbor these killers without pursuit. There are even Palestinian Arab killers continuing to serve as policemen in the PA. In fact, top US Mideast negotiator David Satterfield testified at a Senate hearing (July 20, 2004) about the failure of the Palestinian Authority to arrest the terrorists who attacked a U.S. diplomatic convoy in Gaza (October 2003) killing three Americans, stating, “There has been no satisfactory resolution to this case. We can only conclude that there has been a political decision taken by the chairman of the Palestinian Authority to block further progress in this investigation.” Musa Arafat, the head of Palestinian Authority Military Intelligence told Reuters (September 22, 2004), “Palestinian security forces know who was behind the killing of three Americans in Gaza but cannot act against the factions while fighting with Israel continues.”

ZOA President Morton A. Klein said, “We wish to express our strong appreciation to the House and the Senate sponsors of this legislation for passing a critical anti-terrorism bill providing an important boost in the efforts to capture all foreign nationals who have murdered or harmed Americans overseas, including Palestinian Arabs. This Bill will begin to rectify the discrepancy between the lack of U.S. pursuit of Palestinian Arab killers compared to the pursuit of non-Palestinian Arab killers of American citizens.

“The ZOA led a three-year effort on behalf of this bill which included full page ads in The New York Times and in newspapers around the country, organizing House and Senate press conferences on Capitol Hill, publishing op-eds and letters in newspapers, delivering speeches around the country, discussing the bill on both TV and radio, and distributing a powerful booklet entitled The Forgotten Victims: American Citizens Murdered by Palestinian Arab Terrorists. The booklet includes biographical entries on Americans murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists and a ‘Killers at Large’ section revealing the names — and, in some cases, the photos — of Palestinian Arab killers of Americans who are being sheltered by the PA.”

Ms. Sherry Mandell, the mother of Koby Mandell, said, “We want to thank the Zionist Organization of America and Congress for initiating this fight for justice. We feel that this helps in the healing process for us. We now know that people care and that Koby and the other Americans killed by Palestinian Arabs won’t be forgotten. Even as a young boy, Koby really cared about justice – he would have deeply appreciated this fight for justice by the ZOA and the U.S. Congress.”

Stephen Flatow, Esq., the father of Alisa Flatow, said, “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.”

It is also clear that the American public cares deeply about this issue. A February 2003, McLaughlin poll found that by a margin of 73% -16%, the American public wants the U.S. to demand that the Palestinian Authority hand over all Palestinian Arabs involved in attacks in which Americans were murdered or wounded.

  • Center for Law & Justice
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