“9/11 Memorial Honoring American Victims of Terrorism”
Lebanon is a largely non-functioning Republic, where three prominent offices are divided amongst the different religious groups. The President must be a Christian, the Prime Minister is a Sunni Muslim, and the Speaker of the National Assembly is a Shia Muslim. There is a unicameral National Assembly, with 128 seats and members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by majority vote. Assembly members serve 4-year terms and seats are apportioned among the Christian and Muslim denominations. In February of 2014, the current Prime Minister, Tammam Salam, a Sunni Muslim, was chosen; he is also acting President, since the Assembly has been unable to select a President.
The Hezbollah – or “Hizbullah”, meaning “The Party of God,” and sometimes using the cover name of “Islamic Jihad” – militia “has effectively taken over the Lebanese government.” Hezbollah is a Shiite Islamist political party, militant group and designated terrorist organization, which was founded in the 1980’s by Iran. It was originally created to oppose Israel and the West. Hezbollah is funded by Iran, with an estimated $100- 200 million annually.Read More →
Secretary of State John Kerry once again, this past Sunday, demonstrated his profound lack of understanding of the Islamist mindset by saying on CNN that ISIS “is on the run” in Iraq and Syria, and that the attacks in Nice “show that ISIL is acting as though they have a noose around their neck”. …Read More →
“What exactly would using this label (i.e. radical Islam) accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIS less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction.”
The President and Administration personnel are unwilling to name the enemy before them, the enemy that killed 49 Americans and injured another 53 more in Orlando: Radical Islam (or related terms such as Islamism, political Islam, jihadists, radical Muslims, etc.). …Read More →
Apparently truth is not a valued commodity in Washington. By now, most people have read the profile of Ben Rhodes in the New York Times by David Samuels in which Mr. Rhodes, who is described as Obama’s “foreign policy guru” created an echo chamber—a fictitious reality of under-educated, newly minted journalists — to make the Islamic Republic of Iran appear much more benign than it actually is in order to sell the Iranian nuclear agreement to a skeptical American Congress and public. …Read More →
On Thursday, February 18th, while shopping for groceries in a neighborhood store, 21-year-old Tuvia Yanai Weissman was murdered by Palestinian terrorists, leaving behind his beautiful, young wife, Yael, and his 4 month old daughter, Netta. That makes Tuvia the 65th American, not including two unborn babies, who has been murdered by Palestinian terrorists since the signing of the Oslo Accord on September 13, 1993. …Read More →
On Nov. 19, 2015, 18-year-old Boston native Ezra Schwartz was murdered by Palestinian terrorists while on a gap year program in Israel. His uncle, Peter Schwartz, testified before Congress on Feb. 2, 2016, alongside other victims of Palestinian terrorism in front of the Oversight Subcommittee on National Security of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The hearing, titled “Seeking Justice for American Victims of Palestinian Terrorism in Israel,” was called to order by U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL).
DeSantis, committee chairman, was made aware of the Department of Justice’s failure to prosecute Palestinian terrorists with American blood on their hands by the Endowment for Middle East Truth, a Washington, D.C. based think tank and policy shop. EMET’s founder and president Sarah Stern played a large role in creating the Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism inside the DOJ. Stern helped pass the Koby Mandell Act in 2004, which required the DOJ to create an office to assist U.S. victims of overseas terrorism and pressure the DOJ to prosecute the terrorists that harmed Americans overseas; the OVT was subsequently established the next year. 13-year-old Israeli-American Koby Mandell and his friend Yosef Ishran were murdered by Palestinian terrorists in May 2001 while hiking in Israel. Their bodies were so disfigured that dental records were needed to identify the boys. Their killers have yet to be prosecuted by the DOJ.
Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, more than 64 Americans not including two unborn children have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists in Israel and Judea and Samaria. Over 10 years have passed since the founding of the OVT and as DeSantis stated in his opening comments, “[The] DOJ has not been able to site one example for this Committee of even a single terrorist that has been prosecuted in the United States for any of the [more than] 64 attacks against Americans in Israel…This is not what Congress intended… this does not provide the justice to the victims’ families that has been so tragically elusive.”
Along with Peter Schwartz, Arnold Roth, whose 15 year old daughter Malki was murdered by a Palestinian suicide bomber in Jerusalem in 2001 and Sarri Singer, who was injured in a suicide bus bombing in Jerusalem in 2003, were witnesses to the failure of the DOJ to prosecute the terrorists who had altered the course of their lives. Representing the DOJ at the hearing was Brad Wiegmann, the deputy assistant attorney general, National Security Division. Wiegmann read a laundry list of heartfelt sympathies to the victims of terrorism surrounding him, but then excused the OVT and DOJ from prosecuting Palestinian terrorism specifically, because “Israeli authorities have successfully investigated and prosecuted many individuals in connection with terrorist attacks that have harmed Americans.” In other words, the OVT does not have to do its job because someone else will, in this case, the Israeli government.
The intended purpose of the OVT is to pressure the DOJ to prosecute all terrorists who harm Americans overseas, regardless of whether or not the governments in question are capable of doing so.
This is all the more baffling considering that the act that propelled the office into existence was named after an American murdered in Israel, the very government that Wiegmann mentioned “[Has] a very capable and effective and aggressive prosecution regime, so a lot of those cases, prosecutions were brought by the Israelis and that’s the same as we would do here.”
U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), took issue with Wiegmann’s justification for the DOJ’s inaction. “So as long as the Israelis do it, you’re fine?” he asked Wiegmann, who responded, “I’m just saying that if the Israelis were to sentence the attackers in that case to life sentences or adequate terms of imprisonment, that’s a way to protect our national security.” This raised some eyebrows in the room. Meadows then asked, “Who determines what’s adequate?”
Schwartz commented that while the U.S. government has been sympathetic to his family in expressing their condolences, “We are not aware what, if any, U.S. actions have been undertaken to investigate this case.” This is unacceptable. Sympathy is not enough. According to U.S. law, Americans are guaranteed certain rights and this includes seeking justice of any terrorist that harms them oversees.
The Department of Justice has failed the American people and specifically American victims of Palestinian terrorism. But thanks to EMET and some very courageous congressmen, these victims finally got their first day in court.
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