Court Upholds $156 Million Judgment Against Hamas Supporters

Published on IPT news, by staff, December 3, 2008.

An appellate court has upheld a $156 million judgment against two organizations found to have provided financial support to Hamas and sent the claim against a third back to district court for a new trial. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling Wednesday that eliminated the distinction between supporting the violent and social wings of a terrorist group.

“If you give money to an organization that you know to be engaged in terrorism, the fact that you earmark it for the organization’s nonterrorist activities does not get you off the liability hook,” Judge Richard Posner wrote for the majority.

The ruling favors Joyce and Stanley Boim, whose son David was shot and killed by Hamas terrorists in 1996. It upholds the damages against the Quranic Literacy Institute, a Chicago-area non profit that was accused of laundering money for Hamas and the American Muslim Society, which the judges found “did know and in giving money to the (Holy Land) Foundation was deliberately funneling money to Hamas” …

… In a dissenting opinion, Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner criticized the majority’s view that plaintiffs do not have to prove money given by a defendant to a terrorist group or its affiliate makes them liable for any subsequent action by the group. She called the majority opinion “remarkable” for eliminating the need for proof the money “was given with the intent to further Hamas’s terrorist agenda.”

The Quranic Institute and the American Muslim Society can try to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The District Court in Chicago is expected to inform attorneys for the Boims and HLF when a new proceeding would commence, Landes said. (full text).

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