When US citizen and Jerusalem resident Alan Bauer and his seven-year-old son, Jonathan, were severely injured in a 2002 suicide bombing in the Holy City, he could not imagine what the future held for him and his family.
“It was the beginning of a life-time process of physical and emotional healing,” he told Breaking Israel News. “We are grateful to be alive. Three people were murdered in that bombing which was set off by a former Palestinian policeman.”
Bauer, who had two screws pass into his left arm, suffered two punctured arteries. Jonathan had a screw penetrate and pass through his brain. Both required operations to remove the shrapnel from their bodies. “My son still has issues he needs to deal with but he doesn’t speak about what happened. He wants to be like everyone else,” explained Bauer.
“I, on the other hand, feel an obligation to speak. People underestimate the evil of terrorists and we need to do that which we can in order to stop them.”
Bauer, along with dozens of other American terror victims whose lives have been devastated by terror, found only one organization actively fighting and succeeding against terror. Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center not only works tirelessly to achieve justice but it also strives to stop terrorists in their tracks by stopping the flow of financial support for evil.
Through fighting terror in international courts of law, Shurat HaDin, along with lead litigator Kent Yalowitz, has achieved what no foreign government or security department has managed to do. They have won more than $2 billion in judgments against terrorist organizations and the regimes who support them. In fact, plaintiffs in Bauer’s case were rewarded a historic $655.5 million civil wrongful death judgment against the Palestinian Authority (PA) for its involvement in six terrorist attacks during the second intifada.
“Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the Director of Shurat HaDin, and her entire staff are amazing,” said Bauer. “They are alone in this battle. Yet, they invest enormous amounts of time and money to help victims see their day in court. No one else is willing to do this for terror victims. After 11 years of tireless and exhausting efforts, it took the jury just two half-days of deliberations to find the perpetrators in our case guilty.”
About 200 US citizens have been killed or maimed in Israel’s terror attacks since 1993.
Bauer shared with Breaking Israel News that he has tried to meet every US Secretary of State since Colin Powell and none of them have been interested. “John Kerry personally worked against our judgment, favoring the PA over terror victims,” he said.
Shurat HaDin’s expenditures have been enormous to help Bauer and the other plaintiffs in this one lawsuit alone to get some level of justice. Litigation is extremely costly. Besides the budget needed for their dedicated staff, there are other costs associated with litigation on this scale, such as expert fees, depositions, transcript costs, and translation. Additionally, Shurat HaDin covers the cost to fly terror victims back and forth to court cases and pays for their hotels, food and transportation. Shurat HaDin relies 100 percent on the donations of their generous supporters for this work.
“There is an enormous amount of logistics and expense to do this job right and to organize families to be present to testify, a crucial factor for making a case successful,” said Bauer. “Shurat HaDin takes a huge financial risk upon themselves in the name of justice and striving to punish terrorism worldwide.”
Anyone wanting to put terror out of business can appreciate that this law center has found a path like no other. The Israeli government also fought unsuccessfully to dry up funds to terrorist organizations. Shurat HaDin’s path of using the US and Canadian Federal Courts takes on banks and governments which support terror.
In fact, it is a strong, Biblical commandment to seek justice. As it says in Deuteronomy 16:18-20, “Judges and officers shall you appoint in all your gates, which the Lord your God gives you, throughout your tribes; and they shall judge the people with just judgment….Justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may live, and inherit the land which the Lord your God gives you.”
Following the success of Bauer’s case, Darshan-Leitner was quoted by The Jerusalem Post as stating, “The attacks perpetrated by these terrorist groups were directed against American citizens to terrorize the US as well as Israel and to influence both nations’ foreign policy…It’s time the Palestinians are made to pay for the devastation they caused these 11 American families.”
Though Shurat HaDin won this outstanding settlement, the fight continues to actually receive the awarded funds in full. Darshan-Leitner told Breaking Israel News that their efforts continue until the total settlement is received.