S H U R AT HAD I N 201 8
Norway Sweden UK
Germany Netherlands France
BACKGROUND On Tuesday, May 29th, 2018, a cabal of anti-Israel NGOs, many with ties to Islamic terrorist groups, organized a naval expedition with the intent to breach Israel’s coastal blockade of the the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Those organizing the so-called “Freedom Flotilla” were also key actors behind the recent wave of massive Palestinian protests against Israel, escalating the violence along the Gaza border and continuing to threaten Israel’s security. They hoped to use their flotilla in the same manner, to provoke the Israel Defense Force and damage Israel’s reputation internationally. The participants left from various cities across Europe and vowed to reach Gaza by July.
This is only the most recent in a string of flotillas launched for the same purpose, none of which have been as “peaceful” as they would like the world to believe. In 2002 and 2009, the Israeli Navy seized Gaza-bound ships that were carrying rockets and other weaponry from Iran. In 2010, Turkish terrorists aboard a large flotilla ship attacked
and severely wounded 10 Israeli soldiers when the vessel was intercepted by the navy. In 2011, many of the same activists launched yet another Gaza-bound flotilla, and Shurat HaDin was once again at the forefront of the battle to stop this dangerous provocation. In response to Shurat Hadinâ€™s legal maneuvers , the launch was delayed in Greece and several of the boats were forced to drop out. Further legal tactics by Shurat HaDin eventually resulted in the complete cancellation of the flotilla. Shurat HaDin has worked hard to ensure that these illegal and unconscionable flotilla campaigns are stopped before they can threaten Israelâ€™s safety. This report aims to shed light on Shurat HaDinâ€™s most recent efforts.
WE CONTACTED 400 MARITIME INSURANCE COMPANIES Shurat HaDin’s goal was to stop the flotilla using legal means, in order to avoid the use of force or endanger IDF soldiers. In 2011, Shurat HaDin successfully utilized “lawfare” to halt a flotilla aiming to provoke the IDF by breaching the Gaza blockade. This summer, Shurat HaDin intervened once again. Boats traveling on the open sea are required to have maritime insurance to sail. Thus, we sent out a letter to every single major maritime insurance company, placing them each on notice that if they providing maritime indurance to the ships, they could be held criminally and civilly liable for any harm caused by the flotilla, including future attacks perpetrated by Hamas. These letters were faxed and emailed to over 400 maritime insurance companies worldwide.
In direct response to our communication, Havtrygd, the insurer of the primary flotilla boat, canceled its insurance to avoid liability. The insurance company also noted the boat owner’s deception, as their policy specified that the boat was registered as being utilized for fishing expeditions only.
29.06.2018 The insurance
of “Kårstein” (M
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WE CONTACTED FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AND INSTAGRAM Shurat HaDin sent letters to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to, likewise, put them on notice about their possible criminal and civil liability for providing social media services to flotilla participants.
THE ORGANIZERS USED SOCIAL MEDIA POSTINGS TO RECRUIT, MOBILIZE SUPPORT AND PUBLICIZE THE FLOTILLA’S ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES. We informed these major social media platforms that providing accounts not only constitutes a violation of international law, but also violates the United States’ criminal anti-terrorism statutes. We warned them that they risked criminal and civil prosecution by hosting posts and profiles of participants in a flotilla aimed at assisting the internationally recognized terror group known as Hamas.
WE ASKED ATTORNEY GENERAL JEFF SESSIONS TO INTERVENE As part of our effort to stop the flotilla before it reached Gaza, we reached out to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
We sought to make the Department of Justice aware of the American individuals and organizations connected to the illegal flotilla. We requested that it immediately investigate their efforts to aid and abet terrorist organizations like Hamas.
Bulent Yildirim, President of the Turkish terrorist group I.H.H., meeting with Ismail Haniyeh, the Prime Minister of Gaza [Hamas].
WE INVESTIGATED THE ORGANIZATIONS PARTICIPATING IN THE FLOTILLA AND FILED A COMPLAINT WITH THE IRS AGAINST A U.S. BASED CHARITY The 2018 Flotilla was organized by the Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC), a coalition of 13 organizations comprised of representatives from various countries. Because the FFC has ties to terrorist groups, we suspected that some of these partner organizations might be in violation of their home countryâ€™s laws regarding their status as charitable organizations. We investigated the laws in each country and found that Non-Violence International (NVI), a U.S.-based flotilla participant, is indeed registered as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization in the United States. Organizations receiving 501(c)(3) status are not permitted to use their income and/ or assets to support illegal or terrorist activities, engage in political campaigning or excessive lobbying, or engage in activities that are not in keeping with the charitable purpose for which they received their tax-exempt status. Non-Violence Internationalâ€™s involvement with the flotilla places it in violation of all these provisions.
We filed a whistleblower complaint with the IRS, outlining Non-Violence International’s violations.
The flotilla is an overtly political endeavor that encourages and advocates illegal actions and violence in relation to the Gaza blockade. The flotilla is attempting to influence the public policy and legislative standing of the State of Israel. In doing so, NVI is in violation of its stated mission and charitable purpose of reducing violence and encouraging passivity. Moreover, the FFC’s active association with representatives of terror groups like IHH and Hamas make it likely that NVI’s support of the FFC will end in the hands of terrorists. Hamas in par ticular was designated by the United States Government as a Specially Designated Terrorist (“SDT”) continuously since 1995, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (“FTO”) continuously since 1997, and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (“SDGT”) continuously since 2001.
WE SUCCESSFULLY SECURED A LIEN FOR SEIZURE OF THE BOATS SHOULD THEY ENTER ISRAELI WATERS Shurat HaDin filed and won a motion in the District Court of Jerusalem to place a lien on the flotilla boats. The judge ruled that if any boat reaches an Israeli port, a lien will be placed on that boat.
Israeli terror victims holding judgments against Hamas will be entitled to the proceeds. Norwegian and Swedish flagged boats attempted to breach the blockade. They were intercepted by the Israeli Navy and towed to the Port of Ashdod. Shurat HaDin is now taking steps to seize the ships on behalf of the terror victims.
WE PUBLISHED NEWS OF THE LIEN WE OBTAINED ON THE BOAT Shurat HaDin launched a campaign to disseminate news of our victory in the Jerusalem District Court and the lien we obtained on any boat should it dock in an Israeli port. We utilized social media services to spread the word across various platforms, creating significant chatter and concern about our legal strategy among the flotilla participants.
LEGAL PROCEEDING IN ITALY Shurat HaDin acquired the services of lawyers in Italy to file complaints with the Italian Port Authority and police, advising them about the illegal activities of the flotilla and the lien that was obtained against the boats in the Jerusalem District Court. We also served the judgment granting the terror victims a lien on the boats and served the court order on each of the captains.
The captains all cowardly refused service of the court papers. In support of our efforts in Italy, we compiled information for a detailed report by an expert witness. The report contained all the relevant information about Hamas, its complete control of Gaza and how the boats would be confiscated by the terror group if they were permitted to sail there. We filed it with the Italian court.
WE PETITIONED THE ISRAELI ATTORNEY GENERAL AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE Many of these same agitators and provocateurs in this latest flotilla were also involved in previous attempts to breach the Gaza blockade. Each time they have been expelled from Israel, but, shockingly, they have yet to suffer any civil or criminal consequences for their actions.
Each time they launch a new flotilla, the Israeli people are left to bear the financial burden of stopping them. Negligently, Israel refuses to take the necessary action to ensure that the organizers and participants are deterred from repeating their criminal efforts. Thus, Shurat HaDin sent letters to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, urging them to exercise all available avenues — both criminal and civil — to hold the flotilla activists accountable for their repeated attempts to breach Israel’s legal blockade. The letters ask Mr. Mandelblit to take direct action, arrest and prosecute the flotilla participants should they arrive in Israel. They ask Ms. Shaked to ensure all legal steps are taken, including filing a civil lawsuit, to hold the participants responsible for the costs and damages incurred by the Israeli government in stopping what is clearly an illegal breach of an internationally recognized blockade.
Shurat HaDin is the leading civil rights organization in Israel that goes on the legal offensive against terrorists, their proxies, financial backers and other enemies of the State of Israel. With your help, our small team is committed to developing new methods of advocacy for Jews worldwide and training the next generation of pro-Israel activists to use the law as a weapon against terror.
It is only with support from pro-Israel activists that we can continue to act on behalf of terror victims and their families. It is only with support from people like you that we can continue using the law to protect the State of Israel.
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