The problem was the nature of the defense:
They argued that terrorism against Israel does not violate any "international norm." Lawyers for the bank said that some 80 countries, most Islamic or African, do not consider Palestinian Arab suicide bombers to be terrorists.Now the judge in the case has thrown out that argument:
A federal judge in Brooklyn is allowing Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism to sue the Jordan-based Arab Bank, which is accused of supporting terrorism by opening bank accounts for the relatives of suicide bombers.So far so good. But there is still another case--in Chicago--where an additional defense is being attempted. In the case of Muhammad Salah, not only has the judge found that Hamas is a political party, but the defense is also trying to claim as part of their defense that the Israel Lobby is at work here:
In a ruling released yesterday, Judge Nina Gershon of U.S. District Court in Brooklyn rejected Arab Bank's assertion that the terrorism of the second intifada does not violate international norms.
attorneys for Muhammad Salah asked to call witnesses and present other evidence to prove that the criminal case is the product of "the joint venture, cooperation, and partnership" between the American and Israeli governments. The defense lawyers said Israel should be compelled to turn over evidence favorable to Mr. Salah because the Israeli and American governments have acted in lockstep in the case.As much as the Brooklyn case resulted in a landmark decision, calling terrorism by its name, the Chicago case may be even more of a landmark. A successful defense would arguably give a boost to the Mearsheimer claims about the undue influence of the Israel Lobby.
...A defense lawyer, Michael Deutsch, described a "longstanding and profound political military and law enforcement relationship" between Israel and America. One authority he cited is an academic paper published in March, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy." The hotly disputed treatise by a political science professor at the University of Chicago, John Mearsheimer, and the academic dean at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, Stephen Walt, argues that pro-Israel elements have effective control over American strategy in the Middle East.
Mr. Deutsch also asked to present evidence about the role of the Anti-Defamation League as a "conduit and facilitator" between Israeli and American authorities.
Technorati Tags: Terrorism, Israel, Hamas