ZOA Submits Brief To Supreme Court Supporting U.S. Terror Victim
News
August 26, 2009

ZOA SUBMITS BRIEF TO SUPREME COURT SUPPORTING U.S. TERROR VICTIM The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has submitted an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a petition for Court review filed by the parents of David Boim, a victim of Palestinian Arab terrorism. The brief was prepared by David I. Schoen, Esq., a distinguished criminal lawyer and a member of the ZOA’s National Board of Directors; and Susan B. Tuchman, Esq., the director of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice. (To read the brief, click here.)

 

In 1996, 17-year old American-born David Boim was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting by Hamas terrorists while waiting at a bus stop in Israel. His parents brought suit against several defendants under a provision of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), which permits U.S. nationals injured by international terrorism to sue and recover treble damages.

 

Among the defendants named in the suit was Muhammad Salah, the admitted U.S.-based leader of Hamas’ military wing. There was evidence that Salah recruited and trained terrorists, channeled funds to Hamas operatives, and helped reorganize and restaff Hamas military cells in Israel.

 

Despite the substantial role Salah played in aiding and abetting Hamas’ terrorist activities, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Court issued a decision last December, concluding that Salah could not be liable to the Boims under the ATA, because Salah was in prison at the time that David Boim was murdered. The Boims’ counsel of record – the renowned Washington, D.C. legal team of Nathan Lewin, Esq. (who is a member of the advisory board of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice) and Alyza Lewin, Esq. – petitioned the Supreme Court to review the case in order to make clear that the ATA provides for civil liability against those who aid and abet international terrorism.

 

In support of the Boims’ petition, the ZOA’s brief focused on the important public policy issues in the case. The ZOA showed that Congress intended the ATA to be broadly interpreted to include aider-and-abettor liability, that giving the law a broad reading would help the U.S. win the war on terrorism, and that a broad reading would ensure that American terror victims can obtain the fullest and fairest measure of justice.

 

Morton A. Klein, the ZOA’s National President, commented, “This case raises important legal and public policy issues about how our country responds to acts of international terrorism. Hundreds of American citizens like David Boim have been murdered and over 1500 wounded due to Arab terrorism in the Middle East alone.

 

“We are so proud of this brief and its potential to impact how our country responds to acts of international terrorism. Nathan Lewin, the Boims’ attorney, expressed his appreciation, saying ‘Many thanks for an excellent amicus brief.’ His co-counsel, Stephen Landes, Esq. from Chicago, wrote, ‘I would like to add my compliments and appreciation as well. It is a fine brief and we hope that it will push us over the finish line.’

 

“We at the ZOA hope that the brief will influence the Supreme Court to review the Boim case and conclude that not only those who actually pull the trigger or plant the bomb are liable under the anti-terrorism law, but also those who fund, support and enable terrorism.”

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