Suing Organizers and Funders of the Gaza Flotilla

By Jamie Glazov, FRONT PAGE MAG

Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Neal Sher, an attorney practicing in New York City. Along with Ed Morgan, a prominent Toronto barrister and law professor, he is presently representing Cherna Rosenberg, who has been subjected to the mortar attacks from Gaza into Sderot.

Previously, Sher was the Director the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, which investigated and prosecuted Nazi criminals in the U.S. In that capacity, he was responsible for bringing many dozens of prosecutions and for barring former UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim from coming to this country. He also served as the National Executive Director of AIPAC and was the President of the American Section of the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists.

Recently, Sher has initiated two lawsuits on behalf of Jewish students at U of C, Berkeley and York University in Toronto who had been subjected to anti-Semitic harassment and bullying groups seeking to denigrate Israel and her supporters. It has been charged that the administrations at these schools failed to take adequate measure to prevent these incidents and to protect the students.

FP: Neal Sher, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

Tell us about this suit that you are filing on behalf of Cherna Rosenberg. What is going on?

Sher: Nice to be back with Frontpage Magazine.

Cherna Rosenberg, a citizen of both Canada and Israel, filed this ground-breaking case in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto against the Canadian Boat to Gaza and Alternatives International. These groups raise funds for and provide material support to Hamas, which governs and controls Gaza and which has been declared to be a terrorist group by the government of Canada, as well as the U.S.

Ms. Rosenberg, along with the other residents of Sderot, has been subjected to and has suffered from the indiscriminate shelling of that Israeli city by Hamas.

The Canadian Boat to Gaza is part of the “Freedom Flotilla II” group, an assortment of coalitions from various countries which are attempting to organize, fund, and supply ships to breach the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip and directly provide support to Gaza. It is committed to breaking the Israeli naval blockade and supporting the Hamas rulers of Gaza. The Canadian Boat’s raison d’être is to aid and abet the terrorist organization that rules Gaza. Alternatives International is a self-professed fundraiser and trustee for the Canadian Boat. It provides financial management for the enterprise and assists in the financing of the terrorist-supporting Canadian Boat project.

Ms. Rosenberg has lived in Sderot, Israel and endured the constant and relentless mortar attacks emanating from Gaza. The Hamas terror group brazenly has taken responsibility for these shillings. During these terrifying attacks, Ms. Rosenberg was forced to seek shelter, along with members of her family and, like other victims of these wanton attacks, has been traumatized and shocked, suffering from the serious symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The complaint explains how the village of Sderot has been the target of Qassam rocket attacks from Hamas terrorists on the Gaza side of the border since 2001. The height of these attacks was between 2007-2008 when rockets and mortars fell on Sderot on a daily basis. Attacks are typically accompanied by red alert sirens provided by Israeli civil defenses, which give residents a signal to stop what they are doing immediately and seek cover. These attacks have resulted in the deaths of numerous Israeli civilians and have caused enormous trauma and property damage in Sderot and surrounding region.

Under Canadian law, it is illegal to provide assistance or support to a designated terror group.

FP: Share with us the importance that you see in this suit.

Sher: We believe it is of the utmost importance to hold accountable those who provide support, services, money and assistance to the unrepentant terror group Hamas. Such groups and individuals surely know the terrorist designs and tactics of Hamas – they cannot plead ignorance. The aim of the flotilla is not to bring humanitarian aid to the residents. It has been widely reported that there is no humanitarian crises in Gaza; the opening of the border with Egypt underscores that point.

The real aim of the flotilla is to support Hamas’s oft stated goal of de-legitimizing and ultimately destroying Israel. Those who participate in the farce which is the flotilla are willing enablers of and accomplices to Hamas.

Moreover, under U.S. federal law it is a crime to provide material support or resources to designated terrorist groups such as Hamas. The Obama administration has stated publicly that individuals and groups who try to break Israel’s Naval blockade are taking “irresponsible and provocative actions”. The Administration should go much further and put these people on notice that they run the very real risk of being prosecuted for violating our anti-terrorism laws.

FP: Can you speak a bit about your other cases of the same vein?

Sher: As to the Berkeley case: as your readers may remember, last March a first of its kind federal civil rights case was filed in United States District Court in Oakland, California, against the University of California at Berkeley, the Regents of the University of California and their ranking officials, by a Jewish student who had been assaulted on campus last year by a leader of a Muslim student organization during a pro-Israel event.

On March 5th of last year, Jessica Felber, a twenty year old Jewish student at Berkeley, was attacked and injured on campus because of her Jewish ancestry and religious affiliation. At the time she was holding a sign stating “Israel wants Peace.” Her assailant, Husam Zakharia, also a UC Berkeley student, was the leader of Students for Justice in Palestine (“SJP”) at Berkeley.

The University and its officials were fully aware that Zakharia, the SJP and similar student groups had been involved in other incidents on campus to incite violence against and intimidate Jewish and other students. Nevertheless, in clear dereliction of their legal responsibilities, Defendants took no reasonable steps to protect Ms. Felber and others.

The Complaint further describes how the SJP conspires and coordinates with the Muslim Student Association (“MSA”), which has a publicly documented history of affiliation with and support of organizations deemed “terror organizations” by the United States Department of State. That they have resorted to intimidation and harassment is evidenced most recently by the fact that the District Attorney of Orange County, California, has indicted eleven students from these groups for inciting and disrupting a speech given by the Israeli Ambassador to the United States at the University of California, Irvine.

The Complaint charged that the assault was the result of the university having: (1) fostered and encouraged campus terrorist incitements by the SJP and the MSA) ; (2) turned a blind eye to the perpetrators of illegal activities; (3) failed to effectively discipline the MSA and SJP for their pro-terrorist programs, goals and conduct; despite having ample notice that such violence was foreseeable; and (4) failed to provide adequate security to prevent the violence, harassment and intimidation which occurred on March 5, 2010.

Ignoring complaints from students about the poisonous climate on campus, defendants condoned, allowed and enabled groups such as the MSA and the SJP to threaten, harass and intimidate Jewish students and to endanger their health and safety. Their tolerance of the growing cancer of a dangerous anti-Semitic climate on its campuses, and their failure to take adequate measures to quell it, violated the rights of Ms. Felber’s and other students to enjoy a peaceful campus environment free from threats and intimidation.

We noted that the on-campus activities of the SJP and MSA against plaintiff and other students of Jewish religion and ancestry – and the university’s failure to confront them – present a disturbing echo of the darkest period in history: the incitement, intimidation, harassment and violence carried out under the Nazi regime and those of its allies in Europe against Jewish students and scholars in the leading universities of those countries during the turbulent years leading up to and including the Holocaust.

Moreover, we have recently filed an Amended Complaint, adding as an additional plaintiff, Brian Maissey, who currently is a student on Campus. We have included in the Amended Complaint a Declaration from Brian in which he expresses his fears about Apartheid Week and sets out some very disturbing facts:

– As part of “Apartheid Week,” each year for the past three years members of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) create barriers on campus in an effort to simulate what, in their view, security checkpoints are like in Israel.

– Many of the members of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) and SJP wear Israeli flags, which contain the Jewish star, and they have signs with Hebrew writing on them; and many carry mock semiautomatic weapons that look real. They pretend to be Jewish Israelis. They set up a checkpoint at Sather Gate, where they interrogate students to determine whether they should be allowed to pass through the checkpoint, and they “act out” the supposed harassment of Palestinians on each other.

– the “interrogators” ? those pretending to be Jewish Israelis ? are rude, obnoxious, overbearing, aggressive and violent.

Brian also reveals how on March 17, 2011, he saw the students from MSA and SJP (dressed like Israeli Jews) block most of the central part of Sather Gate. They put down a material which looked like barbed wire or at least was supposed to simulate barbed wire at the checkpoint at Sather Gate. Moreover, he observed the simulated “barbed wire” get caught and entangled in an individual’s wheelchair. His independence and ability to move around campus was blocked and inhibited by persons who were wearing Israeli flags.

All of this goes well beyond any activities which deserve free speech protection. On the contrary, such conduct is terrifying, especially to young students, and it certainly endangers the health and safety of Jewish students.

Such activities have no place on campus and students have every right to expect that the school officials will take all reasonable measure to prevent such intimidating and harassing activities. The defendants in this case have failed miserably to do so.

As for the case against York University: in March we filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario by Sammy Katz, a student at York University, has charged York with legitimizing an anti-Jewish environment on campus. As part of the complaint, York is accused of having failed to take measures required to counter activities which have created a poisonous atmosphere for identifiably Jewish students.

The complaint stems from a February 2010 incident at a pro-Israel “tabling event” held in York’s Vari Hall. The complaint describes how Katz was subjected to verbal abuse and a physical assault by persons vehemently hostile to students who support the Jewish state, while campus security failed to intervene or control the volatile situation.

Katz also contends that York made public statements about the assault aimed at discrediting Katz, and convened meetings of the media and Jewish organizational leaders at which it spun its own inaccurate version of the episode. In fact, a university review of the incident concluded that the Jewish students had been swarmed and that Katz had, in fact, been assaulted.

FP: What moves and inspires you personally to represent clients like these?

June 9, 2011 | 15 Comments »

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  1. Seriously, since you know about these things, does the Jewish tradition take serious responsibility for how humans treat animals…?

    The righteous person regards the life of his beast.

    Proverbs 12:10

    Judaism accepts that animals have feelings and relationships. Judaism teaches that animals are part of G-d’s creation and should be treated with compassion. The laws governing the humane treatment of animals — tzar ba’alei chayim — forbid humams from causing pain to any living creature. and in most cases, animals must be accorded the same sensitivity as humans.

    This concern for the welfare of animals is somewhat unusual in western cultures. Cruelty to animals was not generally outlawed until the 1800s, and one could argue that it still exists undaunted throughout our society

    Although jews are allowed to use animals (including meat and hides), we are only permitted to use animals when there is a truly genuine, legitimate need. and we must do so in the manner that causes the animal the least suffering possible. kosher slaughtering is designed to be as fast and painless as possible. hunting for sport is strictly prohibited.

    All animals in Judaism are forbidden as food except COWS, SHEEP, GOATS and GAZELLES. Only the Gazelle is not domesticated and bred for food. The Gazelle would have to be trapped unharmed and then slaughtered according to the laws of Kashrut which is almost impossible and hardly worth the effort so we Jews are only permitted to ear meat from Cows, sheep and goats. G-d gives human beings the right to control all non-human animals.

    Human beings are therefore allowed to use animals for food and clothing – and to provide parchment on which to write the Bible.

    And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.

    Genesis 9: 1-3

    Genesis, the first book of the Bible, states that G-d has given human beings dominion over all living things. Dominion is interpreted as stewardship – living things are to serve humanity but human beings, as part of their dominion, are required to look after all living creatures.

    His tender mercies are over all His creatures

    Psalm 145:9

    According to jewish law, animals, including our beloved pets, have several of the rights afforded humans:

    The Bible gives several instructions on animal welfare:

    A person must feed his animals before himself (Deuteronomy 11:15)
    Animals must be allowed to rest on the Sabbath (Ex. 20:10, and Deut 5: 14)
    An animal’s suffering must be relieved (Deuteronomy 12:4)

    Jews are instructed to avoid:

    Severing a limb from a live animal and eating it (Genesis 9:4)
    Killing a cow and her calf on the same day (Leviticus 22:28)
    This demonstrates that Judaism accepts that animals have powerful family relationships
    Muzzling an animal threshing corn (Deuteronomy 25:4)
    Harnessing an ox and donkey together (Deuteronomy 22:10)

    3) we may not adopt an animal unless we have made provisions to feed him/her, and a we must feed all our animals before we feed ourselves.
    (4) we must violate the rules concerning shabbat to rescue an animal in pain or at risk of dying.

    Hunting for sport is forbidden, and has been strongly denounced by a number of important rabbis, as has staging animal fights for sport.

    The Bible teaches that hunting animals is something shameful. Leviticus (17:13) instructs Jews to pour out the blood of hunted prey and cover it with earth. This teaches that hunters should be ashamed and should hide the evidence of their killing.

    Jewish teaching allows animal experiments as long both of these conditions are satisfied:

    There is a real possibility of a benefit to human beings
    There is no unnecessary pain involved

    *****It is also considered quite cruel to have one’s pet physically altered in any way without a genuine, legitimate need. declawing cats and docking the ears or tails of dogs are forbidden, as is neutering or spaying a pet. ***i personally feel that in this day and age, one could make a compelling argument that NOT neutering/spaying one’s pets is equally cruel. but that’s not the point of this blog entry

  2. Yamit

    Don’t know what came over me. Have to snap out of it!

    Seriously, since you know about these things, does the Jewish tradition take serious responsibility for how humans treat animals…?

  3. But sadly the Irish are temporarily caught in deep antisemitism as a result of the Palestinian narrative being blasted non stop, and this lawyers initiative if applied in Europe may have a role to play…

  4. To Joe: Inbreeding may well be the reason for this madness, and it’s verifiable through science. Add to this, an alien mindset to Judeo-Christian values, and we are facing the final battle of humankind. Further insanities are USA funding of nations which are overtly dangerous; ergo Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities, and small time reprobates crowding Israel’s sacred land. True peace simply is not possible; it simply cannot coexist with this disease.

  5. To Felix:
    I appreciate your comment; thank you. I borrowed the poetic framing from
    Genesis 1:24 which says “Let the earth bring living creatures after their kind.” My Dad was a man for all seasons; he loved people. When it was a holiday such as an Irish holiday, he would put his art talent to work, and he’d fashion a star of David and paint in ‘green.’ He’d wear it on his lapel when he went out to work that day. He was a salesmen from New York’s garment center. His customers loved him.
    Tell me again… what is your url? I’d like to visit it. Nice to make your acquaintance Felix.


  6. To Herb: How true it is and a pitiful misappropriation of the purpose of humankind made in the image of G-D; … the gift of life and talent squandered on small minded people with terminal illness of the ego… and the impetus for the great separation of the sheep from the goats. Never the flock shall meet. I appreciate your sentiments.


  7. Davida

    I like your poetic streak. Does that come from the psalms…I can tell you we Irish have a very poetic history, some of which is rooted in the old Gaelic language, which was spoken in Ireland quite widely not 200 years ago..but that is another story

    I am very supportive of this Canadian lawyer’s move and the initiative of this Jewish woman from Sderot

    I am wondering how widely this can be used, how to use it, where it places itself in the overall campaign, which is actually even wider than Israel, even though this is Israpundit, thus mainly concerned with Israel

    Please do follow my website (url above). I will be writing on this when i think about it more

  8. Finally they will get to know what the rule of the law means. They may learn nothing in these universities but they will learn the hard way that law matters. What about the Americans who are behind these nut cakes!

  9. Levinson since Muslims and sharia Law are protected by the left in the West and America the best way to attack the left is to attack one of their Holy Cows namely Homosexuality and the absurdity of single sex marriage. Destroy this holy cow the rest will crumble like a house of cards.

    The fact that the ethics is indispensable but impossible to formalize opens a way to oppose the leftists. Two millennia ago, the Sophists developed an approach that won them debates with philosophers who, like modern leftists, tried to formalize ethics. The Sophists logically extended their opponents’ views to the apparent absurdity.

    If gay marriage is permitted, there is no formal reason to prohibit other non-conventional marriages. Why can’t a father marry his daughter? Why can’t three—or ten, for that matter—people enter into a marriage? Why can’t a person marry his lovely sheep?

    Some American courts handed rulings that people are equal and so have an equal right to marry. People are equal regardless of sex but then also regardless of number. Ten people are free to marry into one big happy family. A man is free to marry four women, or to heck with the sharia: even ten women! A person who does not find a human soul mate is still equal to everyone else, and society must protect his right to marriage—even to a dog. Homosexuality is ostensibly a natural urge, but so are zoophilia and necrophilia.American courts and the left opened up a world of marriage opportunities!

    Create a movement where the members all file papers in local courts to marry their adult daughters, a few female friends, and a dog. Drive the leftist ideas over the edge. Let formal justice face the consequences of its own absurdness.

  10. Can the reader understand why law suits and guns are used to defend against harrassment or terror? Likely, even if successful, these won’t do much against, OR FOR, those committed to aggression rather than peaceful support of the human condition. This site is only one of thousands of sites where this verbal interaction responds to terrorism in all its forms. Prejudiced people and prejudiced nations don’t seem to realize that they provide no useful contribution to society as through support of the needy, technical innovation, health breakthroughs, the envirnment, etc. A law suit likely is a small and necessary but polorizing measure of pressure to get individuals, mislead by their governments and religious leaders, to raise their standard to “doing unto others as you would have them do to you.” The subjects of these law suits, including nations committed to driving another into the sea rather than building its own productive society, should come to show leadership as God, civil society, and fellow citizens of the world would demand. WHAT A WASTE OF HUMAN POTENTIAL AND LIVES.

  11. Lets dispense with nonsense and get to the bottom line of “TRUTH.” The GOD
    of the Bible is not the God of the Koran. For some 4300 years Tribal inbreeding
    among the descendants of Ishmael, cousins marrying cousins, etc., has been prevalent.
    This practice of inbreeding for the last 1400 years has intensified under Mohammad’s
    Islam with it’s Shariah Law and the Koran’s teaching along with their Sira and Hadith.
    The core of the Islamic belief system is to convert ALL to Islam or be KILLED. This false
    belief is the mindset of the Middle East. And, has been since Ishmael and his twelve sons
    walked the earth. Its a mindset of conquest, pillage, rape, murder, incest and a violent and
    restless nature that has existed for around 4300 years. It intensified the last 1400 years
    under Mohammads teachings that have a following of one billion, six hundred million.
    God gave “THE PROMISED LAND” to Israel as an “EVERLASTING POSSESSION” and HE has not
    canceled it. This issue along Jerusalem is not open for debate or negotiation. Joe

  12. Let the “Wise” bring forth LAWSUITS, each after it’s own kind; and do not stop to rest but only on the Sabbath Day; thereafter, LOGJAM the courts like a flood. Let the Americans know.. that is most likely ALL OF THEIR TAX DOLLARS which are poured into these Terrorist PA CAMPS, which will be needed… to pay for the financial reparations to INNOCENT CIVILIANS… WHO SUFFERED AT THE CLIENT STATE OF THE AMERICAN PALESTENIAN AUTHORITY. This is music to my ears. I think I shall sing and dance. Justice! Justice! you shall pursue.

  13. Good ideas Bill but our side is too frightened to do it. Meawhile the jihadists and their leftist enablers have no fear of openly stating their evil aims.