1 ‫עמוד‬

FEATURE

in Tel Aviv cafe killed nine peoplein .6002 channels within the international bomber SUICIDE Through legal freeze accounts; stop international wire transfers and set liens against funds run by terror organizations.

bankingsystem, Shurat

HaDin

finds ways

to

(Reuters

new

type of
Dar$han telt11erand the Israel Law Center work
to
one

Nitsana

warfare
SARAH HERSHENSON
tor of Shurat HaDin ter, whose cut that shows

terrorism bankrupt

‫-״‬

lawsuit at

time

off her curls. Nevertheless,

cool yet knowing eyes and the attitude that she is 100 percent with of meeting you, confirm within minutes
that this

firm handshake,

ladymeans

business. is the founder and direc

Darshan-Leitner

The Israel Law Cenin pioneers this form of litigation,passby citizens who have goal is to bankrupt terrorist ing laws givingprivate and the countries supporting been injured terror attacks, or the famiin organizations terror, throughlawsuits. lies of those killed in such attacks, the "Force is not the only way to combat terchance to fightback. Darshan-Leitner that only private citizens can do rorism/'she says. "I believe that one must explains think creatively, in other words, outside of this,whereas counties cannot. the box." "Countries are bound by treaties, nationThe team of lawyers Shurat HaDin calls al agreements and at special relationships. it "lawfare," new of relatively style litiga-Private citizens do not have these limitation they use to wage war tions." internationally terrorism. Darshan-Leitner explains Darshan-Leitner became involved in the against that the United States has been one of the method of combating terror during legal

2 ‫עמוד‬

her studies at won for the victims in 2010 were major victory completing standingbehind the glass partition Darshan-Leitner and Shurat HaDin. University. by waiting for their loved ones. Among "I was working pro bono for experience, ,03 those killed were Claiming one's baggage on May eight Israelis and 14 and helpedlitigate ,2791 at the airport became affair. Puerto Rican Catholic pilgrims. case on behalf of the The fact deadly victims of the Achille Lauro on that the Puerto Ricans were US citizens hijacking Three passengers arriving an Air France which occurred in .5891 members Four of members of the North jetwere terrorists; opened the door for Darshan-Leitner and the PLF [Palestine Liberation Front] boardRed the Israel Law Center to begincivil litigaKorean-supported Japanese Army 1970s, the airlines tion in ed an Italian cruise ship, took the passenUS federal court in 2008 against (/RAJ. uring the early D not the and demanded the release of screened only carry-on luggage; North Korea. gers hostage, in in Palestinian prisoners Israel. Former preslarge bags placed the hold. The terrorUsingthe Anti Terror Act passed Conby of Egypt persuaded ists,dressed in fashionable beige suits, had ident Hosni Mubarak gress,which allows any American citizen to the terroriststo surrender. However, before packed grenades and machine guns in bring suit against terror state or organitheir luggage. zation for an attack that happened anythey raised the white flag,hey shot and t At the pointof departure, killed Leon Klinghoffer, where in the world, Darshan-Leitner and Jewish passenger they checked the team who was wheelchair-bound, and then their bags through Air France without of lawyers from the Israel Law After landing in Israel, Center brought tossed his body overboard, still in the the case to court in Puerto they took problem. wheelchair. their bags off the luggagecarousel and Rico and proved that North Korea finanthem. Then, theyquickly took out "Some of the terrorists were flown to and trained the terrorists. opened dailysponsored and while their machine Darshan-Leitner Tunisia, others were demanded for guns, aimed them at civiljailed escaped money on or Nevertheless, ians, and turned the baggageclaim area the families of the victims millions of parole, just disappeared. in the United States, Klinghoffer's dollars and she won. The court recogfamily into death trap. wanted to fight back and brought lawsuit nized that the outlaw Twenty-four peoplewere killed and 72 government of wounded civilians,airport workers, pasthe North Korea was responsible the attack for against PLO for millions of dollars.Howin and ever, the PLO had no representativethe carried out by proxy terrorist groups. Using sengers from the Air France flight, US at that time and the case was dismissed. friends and familymembers who law passedby Congress in even ,6991 the 1990s while Bar-Ilan "However, served
as

the

case

of the Achille Lauro

wakeup

call for the
was an

the United

States. It

Congressof impetus for

and firm them to show their displeasure stand against terrorism. Soon afterwards,
citizens theypassedlaws giving private
in

the US, and and US

as

well

as

citizens of other

coun-

tries,the

to states right bringsuit against that sponsor terrorism organizations commit crimes against humanity."

Darshan-Leitner and

noted

the actions

in the

attention to law paid special group called the Southern Poverty Law Center based in Alabama, whose lawyers were gettingjudgments againstterrorist such as the Klu Klux Klan organizations

groups. The became one of the forerunners in the arena of litigation terror, and Darshan-Leitner studied against
neo-Nazi

and

and

skinhead

Southern

Law Poverty

Center

carefully that since their tactics were figured in workingsuccessfullythe United States, we can do the same terrorism thingagainst stemming from our neighborhoodin the
Middle
East .‫״‬

their methods

joined with other like-minded lawyers and, after they started winning major decisions, they were flooded with phone calls from victims who wanted to back. Darshan-Leitner soon realized fight that they needed an organization fight, to win and get justice for victims. Filing civil cases and lawsuits for damages, injuries
and 2003
ed and

She

RELATIVES

AND

friends

over grieve

the coffin of Daniel Wultz.

(Reuters

loss of life is
as

expensive.Therefore,
Center
in
on

they established

the Israel Law and

nonprofit organization, supportworldwide
network terrorism against Jews fight it happens. terrorism go together, says

May

,41 serious

.6002 father also His and physical
York

by

donations

incurred

psy-

of friends, to

Israelwherever against
and

injuries. chological Represented New by
trict of Columbia

broughtin by an expert on Iranian terrorism funding, Dr. Patrick Clawson, that Iran provided annual
financial support for terror of around

attorney

"Money

under
sue

the

strong

Darshan-Leitner.

"If

we

hit these terror

anti-terrorism American

laws that that

in we break organizations their pockets, their strength and send them scrambling

civilians to and his

permit sovereign

Robert Tolchin and Tel Aviv attorney $300m. to $500m. Additional expert Darshan-Leitner, the familyalleged witnesses testified that, with the
and
ian

provedthat

the

and Syrian

Iran-

consent

of the
and

Syrian government,
suicide

states that sponsor terror.

governments, both of which

US

terrorists

bombers
in

for alternative ways to transfer and fund their day-to-day expenses as well as their horrendous
we can

Daniel
were

father, Yekutiel,
restaurant

eating in
on

in Tel
an

as designates state sponsors of terrorism, provided Islamic Jihad with the

received

in training camps located
as

as Syria, well

financial logistical, Lamberth

activities. When

we

win

big,

Aviv

April
Jihad

,71

,6002 when He

material

support and
to

resources

it

break them." marked

Islamic

terrorist detonated
mur-

bomb of the 40th anniversary in the massacre that took place June 1972 at Lod called Ben-Gurion Airport now
THIS YEAR

inside the restaurant.

needed attack.

carry

out

the

deadly

and technical support. Chief Justice Royce C.
wrote

in his

that ruling

the

bombing

International

ny in the

There was ceremoAirport. and recognition the of airport

11 dered settlepeople and seriously The familywas awarded ment wounded 60 others. Daniel sustained of million in damages 23$ and was conscious from Iran and Syria, because they grave injuries, and suffered greatly until his death could prove, through evidence

had "no

been

"barbaric act" that had civilized moral

place in
no

represents
knows

societyand depravitythat
S.H

bounds."

3 ‫עמוד‬

the ceremony, she told the audience that she accepted the prize also in the name of her members family enables her whose
success.

We

have to defeat them

in court

with

carefully planned strategyand
team

bringin

constant

assis-

tance

who can state the case proof experts and Our is fessionally clearly. challenge

pointedout that she is Israeli. first-generation Her parentscame to Israel from Iran in the early 1950s as parin ticipants the Youth Aliya program. They
met

Darshan-Leitner

that terrorism cated and
must
new

is litigation very compliarea

of law. We

therefore
are

convince

the court

that these that need
time,
more

crimes

humanity against

to be

and

married

in

one

of the ma'abarot, moved born
in

the camps for new to Petah Tikva.
"That
is where

and immigrants,
we

prosecuted." short Over relatively
HaDin

Shurat
than

has

won

and

collected

stayed. was

$120m.

in actual

payments

to victims

and

Petah Tikva, and

grew up, went to school, and later married." says Darshan-Leitner with smile. "Though
had

this is where

their families. After

step is
Even

to

follow

winning, their next through and collect the
terrorists and
terror

funds for the victims.

greatgoalas youngster,my paralways impressed upon me, my brother and two sisters to choose profession that would better society. After high school, began Slierut Leumi [NationalerS
no

though

the

ents

states failin court,
out

Darshan-Leitner

points

tims.

they do not want to pay the viechannels within the Through legal international banking system, Shurat
that

vice in lieu of IDF

and service], Adorn, how doctor."
she
saw

chose work-

ing

in

Magen
become when

David

thinking
many
hours

would

HaDin finds ways to freeze accounts; stop international wire transfers and set liens funds. against

However,

"We

have

team

of

people who
"The
assets

search

doctors worked, who
know
wants to

she remembers much

sayingto
woman

for assets in the US and around

the world,"

herself, "This is too

for

get married and
be hours

raise

fam-

says Darshan-Leitner. to from bank accounts
estate

range per-

real ships,irplanes, a
We
are

ily. will studyto
the

Little did lawyer.

and

business

ventures.

keepworkinguntil we collect. entails. But practicing law certainly is with both hands /‫ ׳‬she "We have to fight ." "and also use our brains." helping profession emphasizes, case in point happened in June ,1102 SHE IS married to lawyerAvi Leitner and when Shurat HaDin staged successful block the flotilla set to theyhave six children (thethree youngest campaign to legally are triplets the oldest is bar-mitzva age). sail for Gaza and from Greece, Turkey, France, "A parent has to manage it all,which The first flotilla, which Ireland and Cyprus.
many includes
homework,
test

this

endeavor

sistent and

preparations,
bedtime
sto-

school selection, baths
ries.Life can

and

sailed lethal year earlier,resulted in confrontation. The organizers the secof ond

hard MONEY
AND

to

make

be crazy. Nevertheless, we try our home comfortable like to be, and
an one

flotilla hoped to
as

provoke
force
to

similar the IDF the

confrontation
was

in the first,hen w
use

terrorism

go together/ says Nitsana Darshan-Leitner. 'Ifwe hit these terror in organizations their we pockets, break their and send them strength
for scrambling

to SovException the US Foreign Act, which revokes immunity from ereign as regimes designated "State Sponsorsof Terrorism," they were able to prove North

called the

in place which we is permeated with
ness

that

to compelled

armed against kill, and
international

atmosphereof happi- passengers
results were

who

aimed

and love.
am

nine deaths and

"When

in the

country, make

it my

condemnation

ways their day-to-dayxpenses e as well as their horrendous

to transfer

alternative and fund

activities.'
(Courtesy

to priority be involved with my children. In addition, North Korea is on the list from my husof My greatest support comes band, parents and sisters. appreciate havcountries sponsoringterrorism; therefore, the court ruled that the victims and/or ing full time nanny, yet know that the true love and caring members were within their rights to comes from my famifamily take legal am am home, action against North Korea for lywhen away. When try the strongrole it played the Lod Airport to givemy children in %001 my attention of

Korea's involvement.

repeatperformance, helped develop "battle plans" using lawfare. They worked with Israeli naval intelligence, IDF and the the
Shurat
HaDin Prime

In order to thwart

Minister's Office, and

launched

legal three-pronged attack.
insurance they warned maritime in Europe and Turkey that, if insurance to they providedthe required liable the boats, they could be held legally and abetting" terrorist organfor "aiding First,

Massacre.

and ,0102 Darshan-Leitner and
in

make

it my

to priority

be involved

in

companies

In

June

the his-

their lives.Thank

God,
As

Israel Law found

Center
North

won

this

case

toric decision
court

againstNorth Korea. The Korea responsible for the massacre, and that it was to required million in compensation and 873$ pay punitivedamages to the families of the
Puerto Rican victims. "We blood have
to show

well in all areas. understand that
work show them

theyare doingvery they get older, they
hard and that the
the other hand,

work

do is important. On that, in my my

ization. Then

Shurat work

HaDin

notified the

eyes and,

hopemore

satellite communication
was

in fully my actions, important."

familyis

going to

that company with the flotilla that it
service provided
to

faced

action legal

if it

the world

that

Jewish

Nevertheless, she has to go abroad frewhich she admits is heartbreakquently,

I the flotilla.n addition, Shurat HaDin

filed

lawsuit for violation of the
in

Act Neutrality

and the blood
not

of those who

visit our

ing.Shurat
world
in New

HaDin

files cases

all

over

the

country does

cheap, says Darshan-Leitner. "Our goal is to bankrupt states and organizations terror, sponsoring
come

with

the assistance of Canada,

who lawyers has offices
will
soon

volunteer

their services. It now York and
and

York, and notified the government of Greece that its Act own from Neutrality prohibited ships

US

federal court

in New

to sailing illegal ports(which include ports

and

we

do it

one

lawsuit at

time."
not

passenger who signedup for the trip "superhero" nor did she lawyersis vital because, unfortunately,on the second flotilla complainedthat her have role there is no scarcity acts of anti-Semitism. of thwarted by specific model when she was journey was right-wing the Israeli law center. growing up. She credits her parents giving Terrorism and attemptsto delegitimize their children the idealsof making society of Darshan-Leitner, "That's right, replies rights Jews and the State of Israel are better place and all We believe that "and we will do it again. strongsense of Zionism. happeningconstantly over the world. On Jerusalem Day,she received the presWhen action followed by contheybring case to court, there is deterrence by legal no room for guessing supposition. or Shuviction will stop future flotillas from comJ tigiouserusalem Prize for Zionism awardrat HaDin ed by the Moskowitz Foundation. The has to prove two battles important ing back. Our goalis to fight legal Prize Committee The first who carried out the act is noted her "dedication on allfronts, on behalf of the State of Israel points. the day in and out, in preserving honor of of terrorism, and second, the regime or ter- and Jews around the world. One way we the State of Israel and pressing the legal rorist organization which gave the financan do it is by bankrupting terrorism one case against cial support those who seek to harm it."At lawsuit at time ."
Darshan-Leitner this network
see

says that she does

open in Australia. She points out

in

Gaza).

that

of

herself

as

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