A Chicago federal judge on Thursday reinstated a lawsuit alleging that a virulently anti-Israel group and several of its activists are “alter egos and/or successors” of a defunct U.S. based Hamas-support network previously found liable for the murder of an American teen in a 1996 terror attack.
American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) routinely sponsors conferences that serve as a platform for Israel bashers, and openly approves “resistance” against the “Zionist state.” One AMP official acknowledged the goal is to “to challenge the legitimacy of the State of Israel.”
AMP is also one of the principal advocates of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against the Jewish state. Its BDS campaigns include: Ramadan Date Boycott, SodaStream, Stop the JNF, Stolen Homes/Airbnb, and Stop G4S. Because they include groups dedicated to Israel’s elimination and single out Israel for criticism while they ignore other nations with severe human rights abuses, BDS campaigns are considered inherently anti-Semitic.
U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman not only vacated her earlier dismissal of the case, she also authorized limited discovery in the case. “[T]his Court placed too much weight to defendants’ declarations without providing plaintiffs with the opportunity to conduct limited jurisdictional discovery on the existence of an alter ego relationship. Accordingly, this Court will vacate its previous order dismissing the case … and permit plaintiffs to conduct discovery solely to address jurisdiction.”
This is a major victory for the family of 17-year-old David Boim. He was shot dead in Israel in May 1996 by Hamas terrorists. In a historic judgment, Boim’s parents Stanley and Joyce Boim won $156 million in damages against the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and other members of the U.S. Hamas support network called the “Palestine Committee.” The Committee was created by the Muslim Brotherhood to advance Hamas’ agenda politically and financially in the United States.
The IAP was the first to publish the genocidal, anti-Semitic Hamas charter in English. Its fundraisers benefited the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), which – along with five former officials – was convicted in 2008 of illegally routing millions of dollars to Hamas. IAP fundraisers featured overt praise for Hamas, and skits in which Palestinians murdered Israelis.
A 1996 Dallas Morning News story captured the scene at one IAP rally:
Inside a Kansas City auditorium in 1989, a masked man stepped to a lectern and described in Arabic the “oceans of blood” spilled in Hamas’ armed attacks on Israeli soldiers and civilians.
He thanked two nonprofit organizations for being early allies: the Islamic Association for Palestine, sponsor of the conference, and the Occupied Land Fund [an early name for HLF].
An internal 1992 IAP document, “Islamic Action Plan for Palestine,” makes at least four specific references to Hamas, including its leadership role in the Palestinian intifada through “a lot of sacrifices from martyrs, detainees, wounded, injured, fugitives and deportees…”
IAP was among the first organizations the Muslim Brotherhood created in North America to specifically focus on the Palestinian cause, even preceding the Palestine Committee, the document said. Among the Palestine Committee’s tasks, “Asking the countries to increase the financial and the moral support for Hamas.”
At the time of the Boim judgment in 2004, IAP and other defendants claimed they were no longer in business and had no money to pay the damages. But that was a ruse, the Boims’ attorneys say, alleging that the defendants formed new organizations like the American Muslims for Palestine to escape their legal responsibility to pay damages. Successor groups, or alter egos, of organizations previously found liable for providing material support to Hamas need to pay the remaining judgment, the new litigation argues.
In 2015, the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) first identified at least five AMP officials and speakers who worked in the Hamas-supporting “Palestine Committee.”