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
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.”