B’nai B’rith International is deeply disappointed by the U.S. government’s intervention on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) as it petitions a New York federal court that ruled the PA and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) liable for terrorist attacks that killed 33 Americans and injured more than 450 during the Second Intifada.
The administration filed a “statement of interest” expressing its concerns of a PA financial collapse should the Palestinian government be forced to pay out $665.5 million in damages to 10 American families.
The historic ruling was announced in February when the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York jury sided with the plaintiffs, awarding them $218.5 million in damages, a figure that triples to $655.5 million under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act. It was the first case successfully prosecuted under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
There needs to be a price paid for committing acts of terror and the means available to prosecute those responsible. While the victims’ families cannot bring their loved ones back, they can go to the courts to achieve redress. That is the process that led to the court’s ruling.
If the Palestinian leadership, and those who plan and give the orders to carry out terrorist acts, know they can escape any punishment in the United States, what barrier would there be to additional attacks against American citizens?
The judgment of the court should stand.