Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Distorting NIAC’s Court Defeat

May 28, 2013 1:35 am 0 comments

Media Matters Senior Foreign Policy Fellow, MJ Rosenberg. Photo: Pulse Media.

Last September, Seid Hassan Daioleslam, an American of Iranian origins, won a major court victory against the informal Iranian U.S. lobby in Washington. The decision legitimated Mr. Daioleslam’s investigative research that exposed the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) and its president, Trita Parsi, as lobbyists for the Iranian regime.

But on May 5 M.J. Rosenberg wrote an article that turns upside down the trial outcome and even the facts established in the case. This article points out Rosenberg’s many errors.

The drama began in 2007 when Mr. Daioleslam, editor of the Iranian American Forum, began to expose NIAC and Parsi’s lobbying campaign on behalf of the Iranian Regime, the world’s leading sponsor of Islamist terrorism. Seeking to “hit him hard,” NIAC and Parsi filed their defamation complaint against Mr. Daioleslam in 2008.

The Legal Project, an activity of the Middle East Forum, which seeks to protect the right of independent investigative journalists to report freely on Islamist terrorism, coordinated Mr. Daioleslam’s pro bono representation by Sidley Austin LLP (Sidley). Senior Litigation Partner Mr. Timothy Kapshandy served as the lead attorney in Mr. Daioleslam’s defense.

After over five years of litigation, the United States District Court for D.C. not only dismissed the suit against Seid Hassan Daioleslam but also ordered over $183,000 in sanction penalties against NIAC and Parsi for their “discovery abuses.”

Rosenberg works hard to portray this outcome as favorable to NIAC and Parsi, but he fails.

Rosenberg claims that “(a)t the end of this five-year process, no evidence was found to substantiate the accusation that NIAC was lobbying for the Iranian regime.” No: the documents produced during discovery, the pre-trial process where parties exchange information in preparation for trial, not only suggest that NIAC was created with the mission to lobby on behalf of the regime, but also suggest that Parsi had arguably been serving the Mullahs’ interest in the U.S. since as early as 1997.

Rosenberg bemoans the “tall order” NIAC and Parsi faced in proving their defamation claim in court. Hardly: Defamation, for public figures, is proven when a false statement is intentionally published with reckless disregard to its truth. NIAC and Parsi’s complaint in fact claimed that Mr. Daioleslam “knew” that his writings were false.

However, the complaint “failed to identify which statements they perceive as defamatory and to put forth specific evidence of actual malice relating to those statements.” NIAC and Parsi even “implied at the motions hearing that the summary judgment record did not contain all articles, videos, or other documents that might support their case.” Not only could they not provide any evidence of Mr. Daioleslam defaming but they also could not prove that any of Mr. Daioleslam’s articles were false.

Rosenberg sinks even lower when he attacks the professionalism and integrity of D.C. District Court Judge John D. Bates, the presiding judge and retired military veteran whose service included a “tour in Vietnam.” He writes that “convincing the very conservative, Bush appointed Judge John Bates…that Daioleslam acted with malice was probably impossible.” Judge Bates swore an oath to “administer justice without respect to persons.” The reality is that in his 23-page decision granting summary judgment, Judge Bates carefully explained why each of NIAC and Parsi’s claims of defamation were meritless. To insinuate judicial bias is a desperate attempt at delegitimizing Judge Bates’ court.

Rosenberg’s biggest falsehood is the incredulous characterization of the infamous substantial sanction penalty ordered against NIAC and Parsi, describing the $183,000 order as simply “shifting” some of the legal ‘discovery‘ costs.” In reality, NIAC and Parsi were sanctioned by a federal court for malfeasance because it was “necessary to punish past discovery abuses or deter future abuses.”

These abuses included withholding 4,159 calendar appointments from production, concealing 5500 emails with the “untrue” claim that they did not include agreed upon search terms and attempting to hide office computers and servers (a full list of the offenses can be read here). Rosenberg’s characterization of the events being that “NIAC complied” with its discovery requests is a blatant distortion of what actually transpired.

Lastly, Rosenberg claims that Mr. Daioleslam’s victory failed “to substantiate the accusation that NIAC was lobbying for the Iranian regime.” Yet the Washington Times reported in 2009 that law enforcement “experts” believed the emails between Parsi and the Iranian Ambassador to the UN, which were made public as a result of the discovery of the trial, offered “evidence that the group has operated as an undeclared lobby and may be guilty of violating tax laws, the Foreign Agents Registration Act and lobbying disclosure laws.”

These emails were also the basis for former Arizona Senator Jon Kyl’s repeated request for Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate NIAC.

It should come as no surprise that Rosenberg would author such an unintelligible work of fiction targeting Dr. Pipes. Rosenberg, who was forced to resign unceremoniously from his foreign policy fellowship at Media Matters due to his frequent and inexcusable use of the term ‘Israel Firster,’ has shilled for NIAC dating back to 2009. Rosenberg has also long made it his priority to mischaracterize Dr. Pipes’s positions with such fanaticism that one could only wonder if he is obsessed.

NIAC and Parsi brought the suit against Mr. Daioleslam under their own volition. They only have themselves to blame for their embarrassing and costly defeat.

Straining credulity, Rosenberg’s piece is simply an incoherent fabrication of these events.

Sam Nunberg serves as Director of The Legal Project, an activity of the Middle East Forum.

This article was originally published by Breitbart.

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 *


  • Features Food American Kids Taste Israeli Food, Offer Tidbits About the Country (VIDEO)

    American Kids Taste Israeli Food, Offer Tidbits About the Country (VIDEO)

    A new video circulating online shows eight American children reacting — mostly positively — to their first taste of Israeli eggplant salad/dip, known in Hebrew as “salat hatzilim” and in other parts of the Levant as baba ganoush. The clip, by, features U.S. youngsters given a plate with schnitzel, slices of pita, hummus and baba ganoush. “If someone had a name like that, they’d be so sad,” one boy said, mispronouncing it as “ba-ga-doosh.” A few of the kids were able to identify correctly the elements on the plate […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Pioneers/Philanthropists ‘Start-Up Nation’ Israel to Host Forbes Magazine Young Entrepreneurs Summit

    ‘Start-Up Nation’ Israel to Host Forbes Magazine Young Entrepreneurs Summit – Forbes magazine announced Tuesday that it will host its Under 30 EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Summit in Israel for the first time in April 2016. The conference is expected to bring together some 600 young entrepreneurs, with 200 from Europe, 200 from the U.S., and 200 from Israel. The summit has been hosted in Philadelphia for the past two years. It will include presentations, speeches, a pitch competition, and cultural immersion opportunities in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Beliefs and concepts What’s That Huge White Bridal Dress Floating Over the Tower of David?

    What’s That Huge White Bridal Dress Floating Over the Tower of David? –  “What’s that huge white bridal dress floating over the Tower of David?” That’s what visitors to Jerusalem’s Old City asked last week. The wedding gown, created by leading Israeli artist Motti Mizrachi, is part of the 2nd Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art, an event that blew into town as the Sukkot holiday got underway. Mizrachi, who lives and works in Tel Aviv, created the dress that floats majestically over the Tower of David, the main exhibition site […]

    Read more →
  • Features Opinion The Top 10 Places to Visit in Israel

    The Top 10 Places to Visit in Israel

    Israel is a holiday destination on many travelers’ bucket lists. No matter the style of holiday you are after, Israel has the answer. Whether you prefer to relax by the beach, hike up mountains in the desert, visit religious and historical sites, eat your way through the country or just enjoy some retail therapy, your journey through Israel will be one to remember. While there are obviously so many things to see and do, here is a list of 10 of […]

    Read more →
  • Pioneers/Philanthropists US & Canada Jewish American Fashion Mogul Ralph Lauren to Step Down as CEO

    Jewish American Fashion Mogul Ralph Lauren to Step Down as CEO – Jewish American fashion mogul Ralph Lauren announced his plan to step down as chief executive officer of the renowned fashion brand. The head of Gap Inc’s Old Navy brand will take over the position. The 75-year-old Lauren, who founded Ralph Lauren Corp. in 1967, will continue to serve as executive chairman and will continue leading the fashion house’s design team, according to a statement by the company. After the announcement, Ralph Lauren shares rose 3.79 percent while Gap shares […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Sports US & Canada Jewish Boxer Dustin ‘White Tiger’ Fleischer Scores Fourth Knockout Victory

    Jewish Boxer Dustin ‘White Tiger’ Fleischer Scores Fourth Knockout Victory

    Jewish boxer Dustin Fleischer, who said his quest is to become the first world champion descended from a Holocaust survivor, stayed unbeaten with a first-round knockout. Fleischer, nicknamed “The White Tiger,” moved to 4-0 with the defeat of Ira Frank on Saturday night in Beach Haven, New Jersey, near his home, he reported after the fight on his Facebook page. The 26-year-old welterweight has won all his bouts by knockout. Read full story at JTA.

    Read more →
  • Featured Israel Pioneers/Philanthropists Meet Israel’s Santa Claus, the Trustee Tasked With Handing Out Leona Helmsley’s Billions (INTERVIEW)

    Meet Israel’s Santa Claus, the Trustee Tasked With Handing Out Leona Helmsley’s Billions (INTERVIEW)

    Renowned New York attorney Sandor (Sandy) Frankel, one of four trustees of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, was in Israel earlier this month to look at additional philanthropic options and to observe the progress of those endeavors already funded – to the tune of multi-millions. Frankel, who recently joined the prestigious Park Avenue law firm Otterbourg P.C., met with Israeli politicians and other bigwigs to get a sense from them about which projects in the country […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Food Spirituality/Tradition ‘Pastry Secrets’ Arrive Just in Time for Rosh Hashanah

    ‘Pastry Secrets’ Arrive Just in Time for Rosh Hashanah – Babka. Strudel. Stollen. Danish pastry. Not to mention Gugelhopf and Charlotte. The names set the mouth to watering and conjure up lovingly concocted pastries that feed the body and comfort the soul. If you didn’t have a grandmother who baked these delicacies, you wish that you had. George Greenstein was never a grandmother, but his life as a baker provided his children and grandchildren with memories infused with the smell of fresh baked bread and rugelach. His daughters, Julia […]

    Read more →