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Bankrupting terrorism

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NICOLA MILTZ

Darshan-Leitner is the founder of Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center, a civil rights organisation that aims to “bankrupt terrorism – one lawsuit at a time”.

Shurat HaDin uses courts around the world to fight terrorism. Its lawyers go on the legal offensive by putting terrorists and their financial backers on trial to financially compensate victims.

“We legally attempt to block the funding of terror,” she said at a breakfast held at Beyachad.

She and her husband Avi Leitner were in South Africa, hosted by Aish Hatorah. They spoke at its annual fundraising dinner earlier this week.

Darshan-Leitner has been lauded as a pioneer in the judicial battle against terrorism. Shurat HaDin has represented victims and their families in legal actions against Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestinian Authority, Islamic Jihad, the PLO, and North Korea, Iran and Syria.

To date it has successfully frozen more than $600 million in terrorist assets, secured more than $200 million for victims and their families and obtained over $2 million in monetary judgments against terror organisations and state sponsors of terrorism.

“By blocking the flow of money, we can cut off the lifeline that keeps terrorist organisations alive,” she said.

“No amount of money can bring back a life, or heal a terror wound,” said her husband, lawyer Avi Leitner, “but financial compensation gives a measure of closure to the victims, a small sense of justice and accountability. To take money from those who kill and maim – from those directly responsible for the attack – helps in some way.”

Darshan-Leitner said many cases have had an effect on the way banks do business and on the way “terrorism money flows”.

“Banks have changed the way they do business, they don’t open accounts for known terror organisations or wire money to them. Banks are becoming more aware of terror watch lists.”

The organisation is currently waging a legal battle against Facebook, Twitter and Google.

“Facebook has aided and abetted Hamas for years by providing valuable and essential services to the terror group,” she said.

This is in violation of US anti-terrorism laws. “Social networks equal social responsibility,” said Darshan-Leitner.

In July Shurat HaDin filed a $1 billion lawsuit on behalf of five victims of terror and their families, against Facebook for “knowingly providing material support to Hamas”. Darshan-Leitner says Hamas uses Facebook to commit its terrorist activities.

This lawsuit follows a 2015 case that seeks an order compelling Facebook to monitor its platform and deny services to known terrorists.

Avi Leitner says that social media providers have largely “turned a blind eye” to the use of their services by terrorists. Shurat HaDin is actively challenging these companies for “their complicity” in the terrorism that their services are used to facilitate and promote.

The organisation is also actively involved in defending Israel, its leaders and soldiers against claims of war crimes.

 

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. David B

    Oct 26, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    ‘A great concept and worthy fight against an arrogant club of top management who have the most ridiculously deep pockets to protect their financial interests’

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