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...

  • Arts and Culture Theater US & Canada New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    In his new play Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv, playwright Oren Safdie tackles an issue that he has a major concern with: the relationship between Israelis and left-leaning Diaspora Jews with their “I know better” critical views. At the heart of the one-act play is Tony, a Jewish and gay Palestinian sympathizer who expresses strong anti-Israel sentiments when the play begins and at one point even sides with a Palestinian terrorist who holds his captive. Tony, who is also an [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    A Jewish comedy troupe released a parody video on Wednesday of Taylor Swift’s hit song Shake It Off in which they joke about taking extensive time off from work for Jewish holidays. “And the goyim gonna stay, stay, stay, stay, stay. And the Jews are gonna pray, pray pray, pray, pray. I’m just gonna take, take, take, take, take. I’m taking off,” goes the chorus for I’m Taking Off. Menachem Weinstein, the video’s lead singer, is the creative director at [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    JNS.org – The 75th anniversary of the premiere of “Gone with the Wind” on Dec. 15 presents an opportunity to examine the Jewish influence on one of the most popular films of all time. That influence starts with the American Civil War epic’s famed producer, David O. Selznick. Adjusted for inflation, “Gone with the Wind” remains the highest-grossing movie ever made. It earned the 1939 Academy Award for Best Picture, the same honor another Selznick film, “Rebecca,” garnered in 1940. Selznick [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Music US & Canada EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    Matisyahu got candid in an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Monday about his religious and musical journey – after shedding his Chassidic skin, yarmulke, long beard and all – from the start of his career in 2005 when he became a reggae superstar with hits King Without a Crown and Jerusalem. The singer-songwriter embarks on his Festival of Light tour this month, an annual Hanukkah event that stops in Montreal, New York, and other cities before ending in San Juan, [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Personalities ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    JNS.org – It was an era of steel strings, guitar heroes, and storytellers—high on heroin, rebellious. Outlaw country music, the hallmark of Nashville’s powerful and angry music scene of the 1970s, was the brew of greats such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt. But there is another, little-known music hero of that era: Daniel Antopolsky. A Jewish lad from Augusta, Ga.—the son of immigrants who settled in the south and ran a hardware store on Main Street—the [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi replaced Israeli star Gal Gadot as the female lead in the new Ben-Hur remake, Hollywood.com reported on Tuesday. The Homeland actress will play Esther, a slave that Ben-Hur sets free and falls in love with. Gadot quit the movie when it became clear that filming conflicted with her schedule for the Man of Steel sequel. The Israeli actress plays Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Actor Jack Huston takes on the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.