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.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Opinion Robert Gates’ Memoir is a Jaw-Dropping Read (REVIEW)

    Robert Gates’ Memoir is a Jaw-Dropping Read (REVIEW)

    Former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates’s memoir follows the classic form, telling the story of his years at the Pentagon during the Bush and Obama administrations. He focuses on what he did and experienced personally as secretary, neither writing a broad policy treatise nor recounting the entire history of the administrations in which he served. In so doing, Gates provides penetrating insights about the inner workings of US national security decision-making. Had I been George W. Bush, I would [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews The Media, Israel, and Anti-Semitism (REVIEW)

    The Media, Israel, and Anti-Semitism (REVIEW)

    Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed from A-Z by Lee Bender and Jerome Verlin (Pavilion Press, Philadelphia, Pa. 2013) Sophocles said, “What people believe prevails over truth,” Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed from A-Z is ideal for the arm chair reader who would like a basic grasp of the terms used in the mainstream media’s presentation of the Arab-Israeli situation as is reported today. This is a book whose time has come. This is a book where the reader gains a [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs William Shatner’s One Man Show Keeps Him in the Limelight (INTERVIEW)

    William Shatner’s One Man Show Keeps Him in the Limelight (INTERVIEW)

    JNS.org – On Thursday, audiences around the country can feel what it is like to be William Shatner, the Jewish actor best known for his portrayal of Captain James T. Kirk on “Star Trek.” Shatner’s one-man show “Shatner’s World”—which was on Broadway and toured Canada, Australia, and the United States—will be presented in nearly 700 movie theaters nationwide for one night only on April 24. Sponsored by Fathom Events and Priceline.com (for whom Shatner has famously served as a pitchman), [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews The Origins of Palestinian Refugee Relief Efforts (REVIEW)

    The Origins of Palestinian Refugee Relief Efforts (REVIEW)

    Romirowsky and Joffe’s book Religion, Politics and the Origins of Palestine Refugee Relief is an important volume for those interested in truly understanding the origins of the Palestinian refugee issue. Utilizing a treasure trove of newly released documents, the authors link UNRWA’s (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine) origins to the Quakers/American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). For those readers who thought they knew most of the Middle East story, Romirowsky and Joffe’s version provides another twist. The authors meticulously [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports Israeli Soccer Team Faces Prospect of International Ban

    Israeli Soccer Team Faces Prospect of International Ban

    The Israel National soccer team could be facing a World Cup ban, and other soccer sanctions, unless it alleviates travel restrictions and increases field access for Palestinian players and coaches. The head of the Palestinian Football Association is pushing for international soccer’s governing body, the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), to issue a ban on Israel competing internationally, claiming Israel’s restrictive travel for Palestinians is equivalent to a form of oppression. “It’s not only the athletes,” Jibril Rajoub explains. [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews Jewish Author of ‘Eat to Live’ Dishes on Health Care, Nutrition, Disease Prevention

    Jewish Author of ‘Eat to Live’ Dishes on Health Care, Nutrition, Disease Prevention

    JNS.org – While the national debate on “Obamacare” rages on past the recent March 31 sign-up deadline, bestselling Jewish author Dr. Joel Fuhrman says the “current disease care model of what we call ‘health care’ cannot possibly be sustained.” “There is simply not enough money available to support a system in which the lion’s share of expenditures is devoted to acute care, with virtually nothing being spent on preventive medicine, i.e. health care,” Fuhrman says in an interview. “To make [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    ‘Tears of Color’ Art Exhibit Shows Struggles of Israelis With Eating Disorders

    JNS.org – “This is how I want to be—without fear. Independent. I want to be like a bird. I want to spread my wings.” So reads part of the description beneath one of the 30 paintings on display until the end of May at the ZOA House in Tel Aviv. The collection represents the first-ever art exhibit of its kind: an exhibit created entirely by Israelis in treatment for eating disorders. Dubbed “Tears of Color,” based on one of the [...]

    Read more →
  • Beliefs and concepts Book Reviews Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    Overprotective or Loving? Daughters Reflect on Jewish Mothers in New Anthology

    JNS.org – Rachel Ament noticed that she and her friends often shared humorous anecdotes that were typically variations on a theme: overprotective, worrying Jewish moms who smothered them with love. That included Ament’s own mother. “My mom is probably every Jewish stereotype scrunched into one,” the Washington, DC, resident tells JNS.org. “At the root of all these stereotypical, worrying, overprotective moms, is love.” A social media writer for Capital One, as well as a freelance writer, Ament decided about three years [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.