Prisoners arrive in Syria 311.
(photo credit: Reuters)
The Zionist Organization of America has called on US Attorney-General Eric
Holder to indict and prosecute Palestinian terrorists who harmed American
citizens in Israel, The Jerusalem Post learned on Thursday.
In a letter
sent on Wednesday to Holder, ZOA chairman Dr. Michael Goldblatt and five
other senior members of the US-based Israel advocacy group ask the US
attorney-general to enforce strict anti-terror laws and prosecute terrorists
freed as part of Israel’s deal with Hamas to release kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad
Under the 1991 US Anti-Terror Act, the United States may
prosecute foreign nationals who perpetrate terrorist acts against American
citizens, even if those acts are not carried out on US soil. However, for
prosecution to proceed, that law requires the written certification of the US
attorney-general that the alleged offense was intended to “coerce, intimidate or
retaliate against a government or civilian population.”
However, to date
the US has not indicted or prosecuted any Palestinian terrorists.
Tuchman, director of the ZOA’s Center for Law and Justice, said the ZOA decided
to send the letter in response to the Schalit deal, in support of victims of
“The ZOA has long been a strong advocate for victims
of Palestinian Arab terrorism. The letter was a step we felt compelled to take
after terrorists who’d murdered and maimed innocent Americans were released in
the Gilad Schalit exchange and now living in freedom,” Tuchman told the Post
Thursday. “They have to pay for their crimes. The US government has to go after
these terrorist criminals and make sure they’re punished for harming and
murdering Americans and violating US anti-terrorism laws.”
The ZOA is the
second American Jewish group this month to call on Holder to prosecute
Palestinian terrorists responsible for killing and wounding US
In an unrelated initiative, The Parents Forum for Justice, a
group of US citizens and parents whose children were murdered or maimed by
Palestinian terrorists in Israel over the last decade, also wrote to Holder
asking him to commence legal proceedings against terrorists freed in the Schalit
According to forum leader and Jerusalem resident Dr. Alan Bauer, 54
American citizens have been murdered and 83 wounded in Palestinian terror
attacks between 1993 and 2006. At least 15 of the terrorists released
under the Schalit deal were responsible for killing and wounding Americans, he
In its letter to Holder, the ZOA refers to the 2004 Koby Mandell
Act, which the organization initiated and which is named for a 13-year-old
American boy murdered by Palestinian terrorists.
As a result of the act,
the US Justice Department opened the Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas
Terrorism, whose mandate is to monitor the “investigation and prosecution of
terrorist attacks against Americans abroad.” The ZOA called on the Justice
Department to fulfill its mandate.
“By failing to act, our government is
sending a wrong and indeed appalling message to the victims and their families,
to our country and to the rest of the world – that Palestinian Arab terrorists
and terrorist organizations like Hamas can maim and murder innocent American
citizens with impunity,” the ZOA’s letter states.
The ZOA say that one of
the terrorists released in the Schalit deal, Ahlam Tamimi, is now living in
Jordan and has said she has no remorse for her actions.
sentenced to 16 life terms for murder for her role in driving the suicide bomber
who carried out the 2001 Sbarro restaurant bombing in Jerusalem. Two Americans
were among the 15 people murdered in the attack.
“I do not regret what
happened. Absolutely not... I dedicated myself to Jihad for the sake of
Allah, and Allah granted me success. You know how many casualties there were [in
the Sbarro attack]? This was made possible by Allah,” the ZOA quote Tamimi as
saying after her release. “It is revolting to think that Tamimi and other
Palestinian Arab terrorists are living in freedom,” the ZOA wrote, noting that
Tamimi said after her release from prison that she would carry out her actions
Citing a recent speech by US President Barack Obama, in which he
denounced terrorists as “prey[ing] on the innocent and vulnerable,” the ZOA
called on Holder to extradite Tamimi and other terrorists released in the
Schalit deal from Jordan.
“These criminals epitomize evil,” the ZOA said.