Friday, June 17, 2011
US Boat to Gaza has its determined enemies
The US Boat to Gaza is a member group of the US Campaign, and a US Campaign endorsed initiative.
Unprecedented Civil Suit Filed Today in N.Y. Court to Seize Gaza Flotilla Ships
June 16, 2011
An American victim of a Palestinian terror attack today filed an unprecedented lawsuit to seize ships used by Islamic and anti-Israeli organizations to breach Israel's coastal blockade of the Gaza Strip.
The suit, Bauer v. The Mavi Marmara, was filed in Manhattan federal court. It seeks to confiscate 14 ships outfitted with funds unlawfully raised in the United States by anti-Israel groups, including The Free Gaza Movement ("FGM"). In May 2010, several of these ships, led by the Turkish vessel the Mavi Marmara, attempted to breach the blockade. The resulting violence caused the deaths of nine militants and injury to numerous Israeli Navy SEALs. A second such flotilla is planned in coming weeks.
The plaintiff, American biologist, Dr. Alan Bauer, who along with his son Jonathan was seriously injured in a Palestinian suicide bombing on March 21, 2002 in Jerusalem, alleges that FGM and other American-based anti-Israel organizations have raised funds in the United States to outfit the Gaza Flotilla ships. The lawsuit contends that furnishing and outfitting the ships, which are being used for hostilities against a U.S. ally, violates American law. The plaintiff rests his claim upon a rarely-utilized "informant" statute (18 U.S.C. section 962) that allows a plaintiff (called an "informer") to privately seize ships outfitted in the United States for use against a U.S. ally.
The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Robert J. Tolchin Esq. of New York, and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Esq. of Israel, founder of Israeli human rights group Shurat HaDin (Israel Law Center).
This is the first lawsuit brought to seize the Gaza Flotilla ships.
Attorney Darshan-Leitner said, "We intend to seize the Gaza Flotilla ships and turn them over to a victim of Palestinian terrorism. The extremists organizing these hostile provocations against Israel must not be allowed to illegally raise funds for their operations in the U.S. Escalating attacks on Israel from all directions require new and innovative responses. This unprecedented private action will help block their efforts to breach the coastal blockade and smuggle materials to Hamas in Gaza."
Attorney Robert Tolchin added, "This lawsuit will bring judgment to people who have until now ignored the law. Each flotilla ship is an attack on Israel and thus a slap in the face to the United States and every other nation that is at peace with Israel. The flotilla organizers, and the owners of these boats, should be held accountable for the damages and deaths they cause."
A copy of the complaint is available here.
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