A U.S. federal court dismissed on Thursday a $1 billion damages claim against prominent American Jewish supporters of Israel, accusing them of abetting war crimes against the Palestinians.
Judge Tanya Chutkan of the United States District Court of Washington D.C. threw out the case because, she said, “the request for this court to adjudicate and resolve the lawfulness of the development of Israeli settlements in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem stretching over thirty years into the past” goes beyond the purview of the court.
“This issue, both close to the heart of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and central to the United States’ foreign policy decision-making in the region, is simply inappropriate for this court to resolve. Instead, these issues must be decided by the political branches.”
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, president of Shurat HaDin an Israeli law organization, welcomed the decision.
“Cases such as [this] are brought solely to furnish a foundation of legal legitimacy for the BDS movement, and undermine the legitimacy of Israel.”
“The plaintiffs sought to create a stigma and intimidate those who donate to Israeli charities and support the Jewish State,” she said.
The Palestinian and pro-Palestinian plaintiffs included leading BDS activist Bassem Tamimi.
The defendants included Sheldon Adelson, Haim Saban, Irving Moskowitz, Norman Braman, Daniel Gilbert and Lev Leviev, as well as corporations such as the car-manufacturer Volvo, and groups that support the Jewish presence in Yehudah and Shomron, like American Friends of Har Homa and the Karnei Shomron Foundation.