Hamas suicide bombing victim files first Canadian lawsuit against Iran under new anti-terrorism laws (National Post)

A Vancouver dentist injured in a 1997 Hamas suicide bombing has filed a lawsuit against Iran — the first such case to be launched under a new Canadian law that allows victims to collect damages from state sponsors of terrorism.

Dr. Sherri Wise, 43, filed the notice of claim in British Columbia Supreme Court on Friday. It names the Islamic Republic of Iran and the powerful ministry of security as defendants. It does not seek a specific dollar amount in damages.

Dr. Wise was volunteering at a Jerusalem dental clinic for underprivileged kids when she was badly wounded when three bombs packed with nails and glass exploded. She is suing Iran because it has long armed, financed and trained Hamas to conduct terror attacks.

The suit comes more than a year after the federal government enacted the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act, which paved the way for such cases by lifting state immunity from countries that sponsor terrorism. Iran was designated a state sponsor last September, along with Syria.

“This is the first case to be filed in Canada under the new anti-terrorism legislation,” said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, one of the lawyers who has been helping Ms. Wise prepare her case. She is director of the Israel Law Center, which pioneered the use of civil courts to fight terrorism.

While the family of an American killed in the same Sept. 4, 1997 attack on Jerusalem’s busy Ben Yahuda Street pedestrian mall has already won a large judgment against Iran in U.S. courts, Dr. Wise had to wait until Canada changed its laws before she could sue, she said.

“We are very hopeful that we can win the same measure of justice and opportunity for compensation for Sherri in Canada,” she said. “It is crucial to sue the terror groups, their state sponsors and the banks that provide them financial services. Civil litigation is a powerful weapon in deterring the terrorists and their criminal patrons.”

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NY appeals court rules to apply Israeli law in Bank of China terror financing case (Jerusalem Post)

Shurat Hadin – Israel Law Center won a significant battle in its terror financing case against the Bank of China, the center announced.

Shurat Hadin convinced the New York Appellate Division to apply Israeli law and keep the case, filed on behalf on 22 families, in New York, the center told The Jerusalem Post late on Thursday night.

The most dramatic aspect of the state appeals court decision was that it both reversed the lower New York court decision to apply New York law in the case, in favor of Israeli law, and it made this decision against recent precedents by the New York-based US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

The state appeals court also reaffirmed the lower court’s decision to keep the case in New York as opposed to moving it to China, and rejected outright the bank’s appeal to apply Chinese law instead of either Israeli or New York law.

The court recognized the decision as significant, as Israeli law includes a right to sue and receive damages for violation of specific statutes, including a uniquely Israeli statute that places wide liability on banks and others that even indirectly aid or facilitate terrorists financing.

New York law’s obligations on banks are more lenient regarding anything their clients may be involved in.

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Israeli NGO threatens to sue Facebook for hosting Iranian ministers (Jerusalem Post)

Shurat Hadin – Legal Action Center on Monday threatened to sue Facebook if it does not immediately and permanently take down a social media site recently provided to “15 ministers of Iran.”

A letter from Shurat Hadin to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and general counsel Colin Stretch noted that the state and government of Iran are under “numerous sanctions by the United States government.”

Next, Shurat Hadin said that various laws, presidential executive orders and regulations administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Department of the Treasury make it illegal “to export or supply goods, technology or services” to Iran or its government.

The letter indicated that providing social media “services” to ministers of the Iranian government violated the OFAC bans.

Further, Shurat Hadin said that Facebook and those providing services to Iran on behalf of Facebook could face civil and criminal charges due to Iran’s support of Hezbollah and Hamas, which the US considers terror groups.

The letter said that even the “seemingly innocuous material support” that Facebook is providing to Iran could lead to liability under a 2010 US Supreme Court ruling that defined training groups on the US terror list on how to conduct peace negotiations as illegal “material support” for the groups.

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Bankrupting Terror (5 Towns Jewish Times)

I’ve always wanted to do whatever I could to help put a stop to the scourge of terror that is such a plague that affects every aspect of our lives. Having heard of Shurat HaDin’s accomplishments in fighting terrorism in the courts, my wife and I decided to participate in their 17th mission last June.

We all met the first time for dinner on a Monday night in a private dining room at the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv. Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the director, welcomed us and spoke briefly of Shurat HaDin’s objectives and accomplishments. I was amazed by the different responses of what inspired people to come on this trip, especially the non-Jewish people—almost half of the group. There was one common thread, and that was the concern and love for Israel. Camaraderie quickly developed, the edginess dissolved (the wine helped), and by the end of the evening we were all a happy, close-knit group ready to start the tour.

The theme of the Shurat HaDin missions is fighting terror. Day one started with a visit to the Erez border crossing to Gaza. Off-the-record briefings were given and security precautions were explained. I could not help noticing that in the two hours we were there, I saw over 25 Arab men, women, and children who crossed into Israel for medical treatment for themselves and their infant children. I was told that this was a “slow” day. On to S’derot for a visit, a delicious lunch, and a poor man’s way of showing solidarity. The mini bomb shelters in the street said it all.

We went up to the Golan, to both the Syrian and Lebanese borders. Even without the security fences and barriers, we could tell by the farmlands where Israel ended and, by the wastelands, where Syria and Lebanon began. There were informative military briefings at both stops.

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Key witness in Bank of China terror financing case ‘inclined to testify’ (Jerusalem Post)

The Shurat Hadin – Legal Action Center told The Jerusalem Post on Friday that the key witness and former Israeli defense establishment member in the terror financing case against the Bank of China is sending them a letter that he is “inclined to testify” in the case despite possible opposition by the Israeli government.

The witness, who court documents name  as Uzi Shaya, has already filed an affidavit in the case stating that he was present at key meetings between Israeli and Chinese officials, including officials from the Bank of China, in 2005 in which the Israeli officials provided evidence and notice to the bank and to China that Islamic Jihad and Hamas were using the bank to launder and transfer funds.

Shaya’s testimony is a primary source of evidence which could disprove the bank’s claim that it did not have notice of the terror financing activities until it was sued.

The case was all over the headlines in July when reports came out that the Israeli government might have pressured Shaya not to testify in the case in order to appease China.

According to the reports, China threatened to cancel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to China if Israel did not prevent Shaya from testifying.

Shurat Hadin, who represents 22 families in the case, said that Shaya’s letter will indicate that he has faced potential opposition from the Israeli government about testifying, but that he believes he can testify anyway.

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Recent Chinese-language coverage of Bank of China case on NTD network

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BDS academics to foot legal costs (The Australian)

THE academics at the centre of the Sydney University boycott, sanctions and divestment row will be left to cover their own legal costs as campus controversy over the anti-Israeli movement blazes.

Protesters gathered at the university yesterday to protest action lodged against Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies director Jake Lynch and council member Stuart Rees by the Tel Aviv-based Shurat HaDin Israel Law Centre.

Shurat HaDin alleges the support of Associate Professor Lynch and Emeritus Professor Rees for the BDS movement violates the Racial Discrimination Act.

The complaint is before the Australian Human Rights Commission, but Akiva Hamilton, the Australian lawyer with Shurat HaDin, says it is unlikely to be resolved in that jurisdiction.

“Based on Associate Professor Lynch’s response to the Australian Human Rights Commission, Shurat HaDin expects that the AHRC will be unable to conciliate the racial discrimination claim,” he said.

Sydney University will not indemnify professors Lynch and Rees if the matter proceeds.

“The university does not provide legal support for staff in relation to complaints or proceedings against them in respect of their activities in a personal capacity,”a spokeswoman said.

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Professor faces legal action on BDS stand (The Australian)

AN Israeli civil rights group has launched legal action against Jake Lynch, the head of the University of Sydney’s Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, in the Human Rights Commission, alleging his support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement contravenes the racial discrimination act.

Associate Professor Lynch last year refused to assist Dan Avnon, the author of the only joint civics curriculum for Jewish and Arab school students, to undertake work at the university as a representative of an Israeli institution.

Shurat HaDin, which models itself on the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Centre that has successfully used US courts to target the Ku Klux Klan, alleges the BDS movement is racially discriminatory and undermines human rights.

Shurat HaDin director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said: “Lynch and his ilk seek to boycott Israeli and Jewish national products, whether it’s goods, services, performers or professors. By singling out Israel and no other country, the BDS … exposes the anti-Semitism that motivates them.

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Landmark Class Action Suit Filed in Australia Against Sydney BDS Advocating Prof (Algemeiner)

A landmark class action suit was filed on Wednesday in an Australian court, for the first time applying the country’s anti-racism laws to protecting Israel from boycott, divestment and sanctions activity, Israeli civil rights group Shurat HaDin said in a statement.

Shurat HaDin said the suit, filed by the organization’s Australian solicitor

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‘Shurat HaDin’ Files Suit Over Australian Israel Boycotts (Israel National News)

An Israeli civil rights group, Shurat HaDin, has filed a class action complaint under the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 with the Australian Human Rights Commission over a Sydney professor’s participation and public support of boycotts of Israel including an academic boycott of  Israeli universities.

Recently, faculty and students at Sydney University called for the severing of links with Israeli institutions, actions that would be deemed racist and in violation of Australian Federal anti-discrimination laws.

The complaint filed by Shurat HaDin’s Australian solicitor Alexander Hamilton is the first time that a Racial Discrimination Act action has been launched in Australia against those promoting boycotts, sanctions and divestment (BDS) against the Jewish State. It is the first time that Australia’s anti-racism laws have been utilized against those seeking to harm Israeli academics or businesses because of their national origin.

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