OU Welcomes Decision on Terror Victims Lawsuits

Posted on February 29, 2008 In Press Releases



Today, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America welcomed the Bush Administration’s decision not to file a “statement of interest” in pending litigation brought by the family members of victims of Palestinian terrorism to obtain monetary damages from the Palestinian Authority.

The Antiterrorism Act of 1990 rightfully allows victims of terror abroad to file suit against terrorists and their state sponsors in U.S. courts. In recent years, a number of suits have been successful and requiring the Palestinian Authority to pay victims of terrorism millions of dollars.

Recently, the Palestinian Authority requested the Bush Administration to act to persuade U.S. courts that such awards were against the interests of the United States. Over the course of the Administration’s deliberations – between the Departments of State and Justice and the White House – the Orthodox Union joined with congressional leaders, including Senators Specter, Brownback, Schumer and Lautenberg and Representatives Ros-Lehtinen, Sherman and others, and other allied community groups such as AIPAC, to urge the Administration through public and private advocacy not to file such a statement and to permit the lawsuits to continue.

Today, the Orthodox Union received confirmation via the office of Senator Specter that the Administration will not be filing a statement with the court today, the deadline for such a filing.

Nathan J. Diament, director of public policy for the UOJCA stated:

We welcome the Bush Administration’s determination to let the families who have suffered such tragedies pursue justice against the perpetrators of terrorism without interference. We thank President Bush, Attorney General Mukasey and Secretary Rice for arriving at this sensible and just conclusion, and we thank all those senators and congressmen with whom we were pleased to join in this advocacy for justice.