Jewish Right To Israel

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Friday, February 25, 2011

How Those Shooting Protesters In The Middle East Be Could Tried In US Courts

There was a story last year about a ruling in an Israeli court that would make it legal to serve papers on representatives of terrorist groups--thus avoiding having to serve papers on the terrorist groups themselves.

But it was the logic behind the ruling that was interesting:

The District Court reasoned that a terrorist organization is similar to a business corporation, allowing its de facto representatives to be served legal papers.

...The lower court had ruled that terrorists, although they were in contact with the terrorist groups, could not be served the legal papers because they were not "officially authorized to receive lawsuits on behalf of the organizations."

The District Court reasoned that “authorized representatives” refers to a "business or place of work," and although a terror organization is not considered a "business,” the term can also include "businesses" of terrorism.
I thought that was a clever way to enable the families of terrorist victims to get back at these terrorist groups.

Now, Michael Rubin is suggesting a way to enable the protesters in the Middle East to get justice against those forces that have killed them in Libya, Egypt and Yemen--in US courts. While the US courts do not have any jurisdiction, there is one scenario in which they will:
when those giving the orders to murder civilians are also permanent U.S. residents or American citizens.

Dual citizenry is common in the region, and even more so in elite circles in which people seek multiple passports for business purposes. I do not know who among the Libyans, Egyptians, and Yemenis have dual citizenship, but the man who gave the order to fire into demonstrators last week in Iraqi Kurdistan is certainly a permanent resident and, according to several correspondents, an American citizen as well. Talking to some protesters, it seems that the street skirmishes may be only one battle in a larger war against some of the officials for whom there is credible evidence of torture and abuse.
The law may have trouble keeping up with issues raised with the advent of the Internet, but it has been making strides in finding legal recourse against terrorists--and now possibly against some of those who are trying to protect the status quo in the Middle East by firing on unarmed protesters.

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