PLO ACKNOWLEDGES: STILL AT WAR WITH ISRAEL
By Dr. Daniel Pipes
The lawsuit, Sokolow v the Palestine Liberation Organization, brought by the intrepid David Strachman, alleges that the PLO carried out two machine-gun and five bombing attacks in the Jerusalem area between January, 2001, and February, 2004. The plaintiffs allege, in the words of U.S. District Judge George Daniels, that the PLO did so "intending to terrorize, intimidate, and coerce the civilian population of Israel into acquiescing to defendants' political goals and demands, and to influence the policy of the United States and Israeli governments in favor of accepting defendants' political goals and demands." The attacks killed 33 and wounded many more, some of them U.S. citizens; the victims and their families are seeking up to US$3 billion in damages from the PLO.
To this, the PLO, represented in part by none other than the appalling Ramsey Clark (who, in a distant age, 1967-1969, was Attorney General of the United States), replied that the attacks were acts of war, rather than terrorism. As Daniels summarizes the PLO argument: "defendants argue that subject matter jurisdiction is lacking because this action is premised on acts of war, which is barred under the ATA [Antiterrorism Act of 1991], and further is based on conduct which does not meet the statutory definition of ‘international terrorism'."
This response is noteworthy for two reasons: (1) Fifteen years after Oslo supposedly ended the state of war, four years after Mahmoud Abbas took over and supposedly improved on Arafat's abysmal record, the PLO publicly maintains it remains at war with Israel. (2) The PLO argues, even in the context of an American law court, that blatant, cruel, inhumane, and atrocious acts of murder constitute legitimate acts of warfare.
Judge Daniels rightly slammed the PLO's argument: "the Court finds that the attacks, as alleged to have occurred in the amended complaint, do not constitute acts of war nor do they, as a matter of law, fall outside the statutory definition of ‘international terrorism'." He went on to point out that civilians, not soldiers, were the intended victims of these assaults:
Daniels went on, rising to an eloquence not frequently heard in U.S. District Court decisions:
That the PLO justifies "merciless capability of indiscriminately killing and maiming untold numbers" suggests it remains the terrorist organization it has always been since its founding in 1964.
When will the diplomatic bright lights in Jerusalem and Washington figure this out?
© Daniel Pipes 2008
Originally Published in Hudson Institute, May 28, 2008
Republished with the Permission of Daniel Pipes
Reprinted from the Daniel Pipes Mailing List, October 28, 2008
Article URL: http://www.danielpipes.org/article/5993
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Author or co-author of eighteen books, Dr. Pipes is a regular columnist for Front Page Magazine, the New York Sun, and the Jerusalem Post. His analyses of world trends and of forces and developments in the Middle East have appeared in numerous North American newspapers, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. He frequently appears on American network television, as well as at universities and think tanks, to discuss the Middle East, Islam, and the Islamist threat to the U.S.A. and the West. He also has appeared on BBC and Al Jazeera, and has lectured in approximately twenty-five countries.
Dr. Pipes is a Polish-American Jew whose parents fled Poland in 1939, immigrated to the U.S.A., and assimilated well into
American society and culture. His father is Richard Pipes, an American historian specializing in Russian and Soviet history
and serving as Professor of History at Harvard University from 1950 until his retirement in 1996. During the Cold War, the
worldview of Richard Pipes was strongly anti-Soviet and anti-Communist.
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