Injustice, Injustice Thou Shalt Pursue

A few weeks back, I wrote a blog post about an impending travesty in the American judicial system. At that time, the US Department of Justice was about to step in and make a recommendation to the courts regarding a judgment that went against the PA and the PLO. A lawsuit brought on behalf of eleven families of victims of terror attacks in Israel against US citizens. These eleven American families won a $218.5 million judgment in February after a seven-week trial in Manhattan Federal Court in which a jury found the Palestine Liberation Organization and Palestinian Authority were responsible for a string of attacks from 2001 to 2004 that killed 33 and injured hundreds. A 1992 law that requires damages in such cases to be tripled, as well as interest on the award, would push it to as much as $1.1 billion. The judgment, which the “Palestinians” are appealing, would equal nearly a third of the Palestinian Authority’s annual operating budget.

The USDOJ petitioned the court claiming that this amount of damages against the PA and the PLO would bankrupt them and asked the court to reduce the amount that the PLO and the PA would have to put up while the case was under appeal.

According to Courthouse News after considering the verdict and the claims of the Justice Department,  U.S. District Judge George Daniels set the bond at the compromise amount selected by the Palestinian Authority (a one-time deposit of $10 million, followed by payments of $1 million per month until the appeal has been resolved) far lower than the $30 million per month figure that the victims originally requested.

The fact that the judge accepted the argument of the Justice Department over the arguments of the victims of terror merely adds yet another layer of injustice, pain and victimization to the already-beleaguered families.

In a correspondence conversation with the father of Shayna Gould (one of the victims), who was party to this lawsuit, he described for me the reaction of the family to the judge’s ruling:

My family is very disappointed in his ruling. After two years the PLO & PA will have only deposited $54 million of the $655 million they will owe the plaintiffs. How are we to receive the remaining $600 million dollars owed to us after that, these defendants can just sit back and thumb their noses at our justice system. The PA alone has a yearly budget of 3.5 BILLION dollars and continues to pay convicted terrorists and their families while in jail.”

And there you go: once again, the PA and the PLO get away with a slap on the wrist; the victims’ pain continues; the USDOJ steps in where it NEVER has in the past in large-award cases (as stated in my last blog post referenced above); and the Obama administration slaps ITS OWN CITIZENS in the face, by choosing to shore up terrorist infrastructure over compensating victims for their pain and suffering.

About the Author
After living in Chicago for 50 years, the last 10 of which Zev Shandalov served as a shul Rav and teacher in local Orthodox schools, his family made Aliya to Maale Adumim in July 2009. Shandalov currently works as a teacher, mostly interacting with individual students.