Israeli Mercaz HaRav Massacre Victims Sue Bank of China for $1 Billion in NY

October 23, 2012 1:07 pm 8 comments

The Mercaz HaRav yeshiva was the scene of a grisly massacre in 2008. Photo: Wikipedia.

The families of Israeli high school students murdered in a 2008 terror attack, filed a  billion dollar lawsuit today against the Bank of China in a New York court.

The lawsuit claims the bank provided Hamas, who was responsible for the terror attack, banking services at their New York branch.

A press release on the website of  Shurat Hadin, the Israeli law center representing the plaintiffs, states that the lawsuit  “is on behalf of five families who lost loved ones in the shooting attack. The suit, Rot v. Bank of China, seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the victims.”

The plaintiffs allege that starting in 2003, the national Chinese bank executed dozens of wire transfers for Hamas totaling several million dollars. The transfers were initiated by the Hamas leadership in Iran and Syria, processed through BOC branches in the United States and sent on to a BOC account in China operated by a senior terror operative. The funds were then transferred to Hamas and other terror groups in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. In April 2005, Israeli counter-terrorism officers met with officials from China’s Central Bank. The Israelis demanded that the Chinese officials take action to prevent the BOC from further wire transfers. The Chinese officials ignored the request.

In a conversation with The Algemeiner Ms. Darshan-Leitner, the attorney for the victims’ families said the next step would be to await a response from China. “We are waiting to see whether they take responsibility and pay the compensation to the victims’ families.” She continued “A trial would be very damning because the evidence we have showing that millions of dollars were sent through a bank account and they knew where it was coming from and where it was going is very damning. They could lose their license to operate in New York because no bank convicted of terror financing will be allowed to do business in New York anymore.”

As for whether or not the case may deter future financial institutions from committing the same errors as The Bank of China, Ms. Darshan-Leitner  says the evidence is pretty clear: “We know several banks are taking steps to make sure their money is terror-free because they don’t want to be liable, they don’t want to face civil lawsuits for hundreds of millions of dollars.”

The attack took place on March 6, 2008 at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva and left 8 students dead.

The Shurat Hadin Law Center has a history of representing terror victims in court. They claim to have succeeded in winning more than $1 billion in judgement, and successfully collecting $120 million of that for their clients.

Bank of China representatives in New York could not immediately be reached for comment by The Algemeiner.

8 Comments

  • This week, the conference of presidents of North American Jewish Organizations is dispatching a solidarity mission to Israel.

    The time has come to suggest vital stops on the itinerary of the delegation, which generally are not on your radar.

    60 American citizens who live in Israel and whose loved ones were murdered by Arab terrorists brought suit against the US State Department. Why? The US Government is obligated, by law, to investigate every case where an American is murdered abroad.

    and because the US government has refused to prosecute Arab terrorists who have murdered US citizens who live in Israel – despite the fact that the US Justice Department has seen to it that murderers of Americans have been prosecuted all over the world.

    It is not that the US hasn’t conducted a long process of inquiry

    In that context, the US Justice Department and the FBI did dispatch a high level delegation to Israel to interview American citizens whose loved ones were murdered by Arab terrorists.

    US officials interviewed mothers and fathers whose children had been blown to bits.

    US officials interviewed children whose parents had been butchered in front of their eyes.

    US Officials interviewed widows and widowers .whose spouses had been murdered in the most heinous of circumstances.

    And, to top if off, US Officials viewed films of Hamas convicts interviewed by the Center for Near East Policy Research, where these killers of US citizens expressed pride – and no regret – in their vile deeds, because, as the killers said, their victims were Jews.

    The question remains: where are we US Jews in all of this equation? Is this not the time for Americans, as Americans and as Jews, to stand up for the enforcement of the law?

    The specific request that I make of Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents delegation is that Conference of Presidents will meet with representatives of American families whose loved ones were murdered by Arab terrorists, and that the conference stand firmly behind the enforcement of American law, when it comes to prosecution of those who have murdered American citizens in Israel. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG, PRESIDENT ISRAEL ADVOCACY TASK FORCE

  • wish you luck

  • I know of the outstanding work Shurat HaDin does, and it is indeed a smart way to combat terrorism. That the Chinese engage in money transfer of this sort, do not surprise me. The whole of their communistic mindset is an antithesis to humane conduct. Do sue the involved banks, and sue them hard.

  • bs”d

    Yasher Koach to Shurat HaDin and Algemeiner for posting this news item! In any case, I thought you might be interested to know that the boys were not from Mercaz Harav. Their high school was located in the Mercaz Harav complex but the actual Yeshiva is Yashlatz. Here is a letter I received from Yaakov Cohney, communications director following the massacre.

    We have finally posted an edited version of the interview (with english subtitles) on the web. Part1 includes a brief background on the pigua and a rare opportunity to watch a true leader in action as he comforts his stunned students.

    part1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIqY7kD4vbI
    part2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwd8p5fq-I4&feature=channel_page

    May we only share smachot.

    Kol Tuv,
    Yaakov Cohney
    Communications Director
    Yeshivat Yerushalim LeTze’irim (Yashlatz)
    050-833-1309 (israel)
    646-810-8743 (us line)
    ycohney@yashlatz.com

  • Eradicating evil the smart way. I do agree that 1 billion is pocket change for China- I wish they could be sued for all that they have!

  • i billion is not enough. it cant bring back the deceaced. so china must feel it in the pocket. one billion is pocket change. chaim.

    • Denis MacEoin

      Chaim, You are right that no amount of money will bring back the dead. However, the litigants need to take care. In the real world, one billion dollars is a substantial amount of money. If the litigants were to demand several billions, it would look bad for them and Jews in general. Anti-Semites would use it to protest that the families have only gone to court in order to enrich themselves. Stinging the bank for a billion would make their point without leaving them to look vindictive.

      • Robert M. S. Schwartz

        It already looks bad, given that more and more Jewish companies and families attempt to enrich themselves by trading in court lost lives for money they never deserved and never will deserve.
        God should damn all those who make money with their relatives’ tragedies.

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