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PLO acknowledges: still at war with Israel

Dinsdag, Oktober 28, 2008

Daniel Pipes, October 28, 2008.

Yasir Arafat may have shook Yitzhak Rabin’s hand in 1993 and signed solemn
declarations about ending the war to eliminate Israel, but late last month, in a
New York City courtroom, the Palestine Liberation Organization formally
confirmed that it still sees terrorism against Israelis as legitimate acts of war.

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, 1967-69, 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: “There has been no showing that the situs of the
attacks were in any combat or militarized zone, or were otherwise targeted at
military or governmental personnel or interests. Rather, plaintiffs allege that the
attacks were intentionally targeted at the civilian population. They were
purportedly carried out at locations where non-combatants citizens would be
known to congregate, such as in the cafeteria on the Hebrew University
campus and on a commercial passenger bus.”

Daniels went on, rising to an eloquence not frequently heard in district court
decisions: “Additionally, the use of bombs, under such circumstances, is
indicative of an intent to cause far-reaching devastation upon the masses. The
‘benefit’ of such weaponry is its merciless capability of indiscriminately killing
and maiming untold numbers in heavily populated civilian areas. Such claimed
violent attacks upon non-combatant civilians, who were allegedly simply going
about their everyday lives, do not constitute acts of war.”

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?

-- Reacties gesloten.