A federal appeals court has overturned the 156 million jury award against three charities and and an individual all linked to the Muslim Brotherhood who were held liable for damages in the death of an American teenager in Israel. The court had ruled that the four were liable because they paid Hamas in 1993 and 1994 for speaking engagements and distributed propaganda on behalf of the group. According to a news report:
The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit voided a lower court judge’s 2004 ruling on behalf of Stanley and Joyce Boim, whose son David was shot by Hamas operatives in the West Bank in 1996. …U.S. District Judge Arlander Keys in Chicago ruled then that the Boims did not have to show that the defendants aided the attack or were aware of it, only that they “were involved in a agreement to accomplish an unlawful act.” Arlander said the defendants — defunct charities, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, and the American Muslim Society/Islamic Association for Palestine; and a man named Mohammed Salah — were liable for damages because they paid Hamas in 1993 and 1994 for speaking engagements and distributed propaganda for the group. In yesterday’s strongly worded opinion, Appeals Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner wrote: “Belief, assumption, and speculation are no substitutes for evidence in a court of law. . . . We must resist the temptation to gloss over error, admit spurious evidence, and assume facts not adequately proved simply to side with the face of innocence and against the face of terrorism.”
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organization whose leaders were originally part of the Islamic Association of Palestine, issued a statement praising the court’s decision and linking the Jewish community to an attack on “domestic humanitarian efforts to aid Palestinians.”:
Today, our nation’s great tradition of respect for the rule of law has been upheld. This landmark ruling is a strong rejection of the recent disturbing trend of political lawsuits against American Muslims who have committed no crime other than providing humanitarian aid to Palestinians. Pro-Israel groups are engaged in a broad-based attack against domestic humanitarian efforts to aid Palestinians living in dire circumstances under the Israeli occupation. It is reprehensible that groups like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) would fund and encourage lawsuits that seek to repress First Amendment-protected activities by Palestinian Americans under the guise of fighting terrorism.The defendants in this case have endured a seven-year legal battle in which their reputations have been smeared and their assets confiscated. While the destruction of American Muslim groups who have committed no wrong-doing is irreparable, today’s decision, in which the rules of law were finally applied, helps restore the American people’s trust in the system.CAIR deplores the murder of David Boim and hopes that the actual wrong-doers are brought to justice.
A terrorism financing case against the Holy Land Foundation for the financing of Hamas recently resulted in a mistrial, probably forcing a retrial of that case and news reports indicate that the Boim case willl also probably be retried.