A new type of warfare

Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and the Israel Law Center work to bankrupt terrorism – one lawsuit at a time.

Suicide bomb TA 521 (photo credit: Reuters)
Suicide bomb TA 521
(photo credit: Reuters)
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner does not look like a terrorist hunter. She is an attractive woman – poised, smartly dressed, and sporting a haircut that shows off her curls. Nevertheless, a firm handshake, cool yet knowing eyes and the attitude that she is 100 percent with you, confirm within minutes of meeting that this lady means business.
Darshan-Leitner is the founder and director of Shurat HaDin – The Israel Law Center, whose goal is to bankrupt terrorist organizations and the countries supporting terror, through lawsuits.
“Force is not the only way to combat terrorism,” she says. “I believe that one must think creatively, in other words, outside of the box.”
The team of lawyers at Shurat HaDin calls it “lawfare,” a relatively new style of litigation they use to wage war internationally against terrorism. Darshan-Leitner explains that the United States has been one of the pioneers in this form of litigation, by passing laws giving private citizens who have been injured in terror attacks, or the families of those killed in such attacks, the chance to fight back. Darshan-Leitner explains that only private citizens can do this, whereas counties cannot.
“Countries are bound by treaties, national agreements and special relationships.
Private citizens do not have these limitations.”
Darshan-Leitner became involved in the legal method of combating terror during