US court forbids seizure of Persian artifacts by Jerusalem bomb victims

The lawsuit stems from a 1997 attack in which three members of the Islamic militant group Hamas blew themselves up at a crowded pedestrian mall in Jerusalem, killing five people.

By REUTERS
February 21, 2018 17:39
1 minute read.
US court forbids seizure of Persian artifacts by Jerusalem bomb victims

Police officers stand in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC, U.S., January 19, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

WASHINGTON - The US Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that Americans injured in a 1997 suicide bombing in Jerusalem cannot seize ancient Persian artifacts from a Chicago museum to satisfy a $71.5 million court judgment against Iran, which they had accused of complicity in the attack.

The justices, in an 8-0 ruling, upheld a lower court decision in favor of Iran that had prevented the plaintiffs from collecting on the judgment, which Tehran has not paid, by obtaining antiquities held at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute. The important Persian cultural artifacts, on loan to the museum since the 1930s, include clay tablets boasting some of the oldest writing in the world.

Justice Elena Kagan did not participate in the decision.

The decision could make it harder for plaintiffs in other cases arising from militant attacks overseas to seek compensation by seizing and selling off cultural relics owned by foreign countries.

The case required the Supreme Court to determine what types of assets are immune from seizure under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. That 1976 federal law largely shields foreign governments from liability in American courts, except for countries like Iran that have been designated by the US government as state sponsors of terrorism.


Iran is one of several countries and organizations ordered by US courts to pay damages in similar cases, though such orders have been difficult to enforce.

The lawsuit stems from a 1997 attack in which three members of the Islamic militant group Hamas blew themselves up at a crowded pedestrian mall in Jerusalem, killing five people.

Several of the injured, including lead plaintiff Jenny Rubin, and their relatives sued Iran in federal court alleging it had provided material support for the attackers.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Hacker in a hood
February 18, 2019
Hackers target U.S. government and companies, after withdrawal from nuclear deal

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF