- - Sunday, November 3, 2013

The editorial of Oct. 14, “Jackpot justice afoot,” is terribly misleading in suggesting that U.S. lawyers, on behalf of Israeli and American victims of massive Hamas suicide bombing attacks, are acting unfairly in asking that Arab Bank, the middleman for payment to the families of suicide bombers and the bank of choice for the leadership of Hamas in Gaza and the West Bank, disclose appropriate records.

The editorial does not take into account that both the trial court and the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that bank-secrecy laws of a foreign country do not justify hiding the facts related to facilitation of killing. Make no mistake about it, the charge is mass murder. More than 2,500 Israeli and American citizens were killed or severely injured between 2000 and 2005 in what is known as the “second intifada,” a violent uprising typified by suicide bombings and other terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.

The second intifada was financed in great measure by Saudi Arabia and encouraged suicide bombers by giving money to their families after they carried out their grisly task. These payments were often in excess of $5,000 each. Arab Bank was the payment mechanism, given its vast presence in the Palestinian territories. In its defense in the pending lawsuit for damages, Arab Bank is asserting that owing to the bank-secrecy laws of Jordan, where it’s based, it can’t exactly prove what it did.

However, the day has long since passed where one country’s bank-secrecy laws can be used to shield facts about killing. The U.S. District Court said so, the U.S. Court of Appeals refused to reverse this decision and the Supreme Court hopefully soon will affirm that principle.

It is surprising, therefore, that The Washington Times would want to stake out a retrogressive human rights position by appealing to public emotion, relying on speculation of irreparable economic harm to Jordan should the victims’ families prevail, rather than allow the rule of law to run its course in a U.S. courtroom.

ALLAN GERSON

Chairman

AG International Law PLLC

Washington