Is the U.S. jury trial system fair? Is it efficient? Does it arrive at the truth (most of the time)?
Yes, yes, and yes.
So when a federal jury in New York found the PLO and PA liable for damages for six acts of terror in Israel, and awarded survivors $218.5 million, why is it going to be so difficult to pay the plaintiffs their due?
The six attacks between 2002 and 2004 during the second Palestinian uprising killed 33 people and wounded hundreds more, including Americans. The incidents cited in the civil lawsuit included bus bombings and a bombing in the cafeteria at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.
While the damages awarded by the jury are tripled under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism act to $655.5 million, the award may be largely symbolic. Legal experts say it will be challenge for the 10 plaintiff’s to get the money.
Why is this a challenge?
The U.S. Agency for International Development—USAID—has given $4.2 billion to the PLO/PA since 1994. USAID is a federal agency. Why can’t a federal judge order the U.S. Treasury to pay up out of any funds Congress allocated to USAID for the PLO/PA? I can’t see why not.
The United Nations has an entire agency—UNRWA—dedicated to the Palestinians. One of the main government partners of UNRWA is the United States. The UN itself sits on prime New York City property. In 2013 alone, the United States contributed over $294 million to UNRWA. Why can’t a federal judge order the U.S. Treasury to pay the 2015 allocation to fulfill the jury award? I can’t see why not.
This is just a starting point. Every dime of U.S. taxpayer money that could possibly reach the PA should be seized.
Israel knows how to collect from the PA, and it does so without regret. The amount stolen from PA funds by their “leaders” is so vast and the corruption so ingrained that this is literally the only way Israel has to make its demands felt. Just this month, Israel held up tax transfers to the PA again. Why? Because the PA joined the International Criminal Court to initiate action against Israel.
Why should the PA be able to sue or prosecute Israel in the ICC—but nobody can enforce judgments against the PA? The world is truly tilted toward the terrorists.
As for the victims of terror, they get endless legal proceedings and no compensation while lawyers try to collect.
The lawyers can target bank accounts or other assets the Palestinian groups maintain in the U.S. if they can prove which assets belong to the groups, Columbia University law professor John Coffee said. The plaintiffs can also ask foreign courts to seize the Palestinian groups’ assets in foreign countries, he said. Any payouts, however, may be delayed if the Palestinian groups appeal, which could take years, he said.
The PA, meanwhile, continues to fund terror, a point well covered at the trial—in fact it is one of the key points proving the PA’s culpability in the terror.
One of the keys to the trial was the presentation of evidence showing that terrorists who were arrested and convicted continued to receive their salaries — and even promotions — as PA employees. And the families of those killed in those attacks received what were called “martyrs” payments.
Until we wake up to the fact the America is funding the very terror groups we condemn, we are simply participating in self delusion—a delusion which is very convenient to the terrorists who use our money against Israel, against Jews, and against America.
(crossposted from sgberman.com)