Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

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.


  • 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.


    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)

  • 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. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.

Current day month ye@r *


  • Arts and Culture Features Opinion Playwrite Iddo Netanyahu: ‘Hitler Always Talked About Peace’ (INTERVIEW)

    Playwrite Iddo Netanyahu: ‘Hitler Always Talked About Peace’ (INTERVIEW)

    Late Friday night, on November 13, I was headed for bed when an ominous news bulletin flashed across my computer screen – something about a shooting in Paris. It wasn’t long before the “small number” of shootings and casualties began to double and triple and quadruple. The locations of attacks seemed crazily disorganized, and the tweets and videos became more and more horrifying. It was a long night for many stunned observers. We tried to understand what was happening, and […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Theater BDS Gives Belgian-Jewish Actress New Lease on Life in Tel Aviv

    BDS Gives Belgian-Jewish Actress New Lease on Life in Tel Aviv

    In an interview with the Israeli site nrg on Wednesday, Belgian-Jewish stage actress Noemi Schlosser recounted immigrating to Israel after her career in Europe was destroyed by BDS. Schlosser said she had enjoyed success in Belgium and international acclaim until she was targeted by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for her pro-Israel stance during Operation Protective Edge — last summer’s war against Hamas in Gaza. She described watching the theaters where she performed go from packed to nearly empty over a short period of […]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    In Israel for Champions League Soccer Match, Chelsea Manager Says Team Not Worried About Security Situation

    The manager of the Chelsea Football Club said on Monday that he is looking forward to playing in Israel this week against Maccabi Tel Aviv, in spite of the security situation, Israeli news site nrg reported. Jose Murinho, who is already in Israel with his team to compete against Maccabi in the Champions League soccer match, was  asked whether he was worried about the current wave of Palestinian violence sweeping the country. “I have no worries at all regarding the security situation, and neither do […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    In the Middle East, ‘The Tail Wags the Dog’ (REVIEW)

    Blaming the West has become the most pervasive method of teaching for many Middle East studies departments, which are becoming the heart of pop-culture academia. Efraim Karsh, a distinguished professor of Middle Eastern studies at Bar-Ilan University and professor emeritus at King’s College London, in his latest book The Tail Wags the Dog: International Politics and the Middle East, dispels this myth. “Britain’s ‘original sin,’ if such was indeed committed, lay not in the breaking up of Middle Eastern unity but […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About

    With Popularity and Sales up, ‘Mensch on a Bench’ Has Much to Smile About – The Mensch on a Bench is so much happier now than he was a year ago. Look carefully and you will notice that, whereas the previous Mensch had a decidedly worried look, this latest version of the popular Hanukkah toy is flashing an exuberant grin. Is the erstwhile Mensch smiling because he expects to be in some 100,000 homes by year’s end? In truth, the change in visage was suggested last year by the “sharks” on ABC’s Shark Tank […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Adam Sandler Updates Famous ‘Chanukah Song,’ Includes Hulk Hogan, David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson in Latest Version

    Actor Adam Sandler unveiled a new version of his famous “Chanukah Song” on Saturday, adding a slew of Jewish celebrities to the ditty’s updated lyrics. The comedian — who released the original song about being Jewish during Christmas in 1996 — performed the latest version of the comedic track during the New York Comedy Festival at Carnegie Hall. Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee, actor Jake Gyllenhaal and “the two guys who founded Google” are among the famous Jewish celebrities now in the line up. Sandler also included lyrics about Star Wars‘ Princess […]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

    Famed Israeli Violinist Itzhak Perlman to Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom – Famed Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman will be among the 17 recipients of America’s Presidential Medal of Freedom next week. He is the fourth Israeli to receive the highest civilian honor in the US. “A native of Israel, he came to the United States at a young age and was introduced to Americans broadly when he appeared on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ in 1958. Mr. Perlman made his Carnegie Hall debut in 1963 when he was 18,” a White House […]

    Read more →
  • Features Spirituality/Tradition Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots

    Don’t Think Israel is a Luxury Destination? Check Out These 6 Spots – While Israel is a common destination for cultural and religious pilgrimages, travelers seeking the best hotels, fine dining, and upscale relaxation less often find themselves in the Holy Land. Yet in recent years, the country’s burgeoning tech scene has attracted a business crowd accustomed to ritzy accommodation. Besides, the permanent summer of Tel Aviv and Eilat makes them prime destinations for European vacationers. Israel’s populace managed to tame the swamps and irrigate the desert — so going luxury should […]

    Read more →