It would be a big mistake if Israel didn’t allow this guy to testify. If China is found guilty they should pay the consequences. Israel should not prostitute herself for some trade. It would be a mockery of justice and the rule of law. Ted Belman
JERUSALEM – Israel has been struggling to decide on whether to
participate in a U.S. court case in which China was linked to Hamas.
The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has to decide within
days whether to allow a former official to testify in a suit against Bank of
Bank-of-China-Sued-For-Aiding-Terrorist-Massacre-of-High-School-Students-in-IsraelUzi Shaya was summoned to support the suit by Israeli families in a U.S. district court in New York on Nov. 25.
Netanyahu, who for decades urged the international community to tighten restrictions on Hamas and other insurgency groups, has not responded to the request by the Israeli families.
Israeli government sources said China has warned of economic repercussions should Jerusalem work against Bank of China.
“In light of my moral and national obligation and my commitment to the
war on terror, I am inclined to give a deposition,” Shaya wrote to attorneys
for the plaintiffs. “However, thus far, the state of Israel has not yet
formulated its final position on the matter.”
The suit was brought by 22 Israeli families who charge the Bank of China
with helping Hamas transfer money through the United States. Shaya was
identified as being part of an Israeli government delegation in Beijing in
2005 that urged a halt to services given by the Chinese bank to Hamas.
“This may be the only person who really has the knowledge as to what
transpired at the meeting,” U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin said
in a hearing in July 2013.
The suit, the brainchild of the Israeli intelligence community in 2007,
charges Bank of China with helping transfer of money to
both Hamas and the Iranian-sponsored Islamic Jihad. Both groups have been
deemed the leading planners of suicide bombings against Israel and appear on
the State Department list of terrorist groups.
In 2009, a Netanyahu aide, identified as Shlomo Matalon, submitted an
affidavit that detailed Bank of China’s dealings with Hamas and Jihad. The
sworn statement said Israel had urged Beijing to stop the transactions.
But in April 2013 Bank of China told the U.S. court that Shaya would not
testify. The organizer of the suit, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of the
Israel Law Center, recalled that she telephoned Israeli officials, including
those in the intelligence community, to explain their reversal.
“I told them ‘You caused us to reach an insane situation,’ ” Ms.
Darshan-Leitner recalled. “And they told me, ‘You think that if you raise
your voice it will help?’ ”
“The Israeli government asked us through our lawyers to bring this case
and provided relevant evidence,” said Yekutiel Wultz, whose son Daniel was
killed in a 2006 bombing by Jihad.