Israel, Terrorism, and United States Law

“If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, “the law is an ass, an idiot.” He could have been referring to U.S. court decisions that have allowed instigators or abettors of Palestinian terrorism to evade punishment for terrorist actions against the State of Israel and its citizens. The best that can be said of them is that the law on jurisdictional issues is still complicated, imprecise, and open to differences of opinion. On August 31, 2016, a three-person panel of the Federal Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York by vote of 3-0 overturned a decision by a lower New York court that had imposed a $655.5 million verdict against the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The case brought by a number of people, including some who had been injured by the attacks, has been going on a long time. A court has first awarded the plaintiffs the sum of $218.5 million in damages. The...(Read Full Article)