Chicago, IL, December 4, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomes the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit's en banc decision in Boim v. Holy Land Foundation. The Court upheld a $156 million judgment against three organizations found to have provided financial support to the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas for complicity in the murder of David Boim, a 17-year old American citizen, near Jerusalem.
Lonnie Nasatir, ADL Chicago Regional Director, issued the following statement:
Those that enable terrorism by funding it must be held accountable, and this landmark ruling sets the precedent for that liability.
The Court's decision holding knowing contributors to Hamas liable for Hamas' terrorist acts is a victory in the war against terrorism.
We hope that this decision will result in a drastic decrease in donations to terrorist organizations. In ruling that any contributions to a terrorist organization, even contributions to the so-called non-violent wing of that organization, can be the basis of liability for that organization's foreseeable terrorist acts, the Court clarified that no financial support of a terrorist organization can be made with impunity.
David Boim was murdered by two Hamas terrorists on March 13, 1996, while he waited for a bus to Jerusalem.
The ruling upholds a $156 million damages award to David's parents under U.S. Anti-Terrorism law against the Quranic Literacy Institute, the American Muslim Society, and the Islamic Association for Palestine. The Court overturned damages against a Hamas operative who was in prison when Boim was killed, and remanded for a new trial the claim against the Holy Land Foundation.
The Holy Land Foundation was convicted last week by a federal jury in Dallas for providing material support for Hamas.
The law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP prepared a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of ADL arguing that whether defendants intended their financial contribution to Hamas be used for violent purposes was irrelevant, and that defendants' claim that their contributions are protected free speech is plainly wrong.