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A group of Palestinians has filed a $34.5 billion lawsuit against a group of Americans companies and individuals, alleging they have illegally enabled Israeli war crimes and funded the destruction of Palestinian property, according to a copy of the complaint filed in U.S. district court.
The Palestinian plaintiffs are specifically targeting several prominent pro-Israel voices, including billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, George W. Bush administration adviser Elliott Abrams, and Pastor John Hagee, the outspoken leader of the Christians United for Israel movement.
Legal experts have dismissed the lawsuit as a frivolous attempt to harass these individuals and a number of other American companies, including Hewlett Packard, Nordstrom, and Motorola.
The suit alleges that these individuals, companies, and non-profit pro-Israel organizations have “provided massive financial assistance to fund the explosive growth of settlements all over the Occupied Palestinian Territories of 1967 for the last 40 years,” according to the U.S. law firm McMahon & Associates, which is spearheading the case on behalf of several Palestinian and Palestinian-American families.
The suit additionally targets “construction companies, security firms, real estate firms, and private banks,” which the plaintiffs allege “all played a vital role in the explosive growth of these settlements.”
Several Israeli banks and companies also are named in the suit, which goes on to allege that all parties named have “been committing the war crime of pillage by stealing and exploiting valuable minerals from Palestinian properties for 40 years.”
Several of the parties named in the case declined requests from the Washington Free Beacon to comment on the matter.
One legal expert who spoke to the Free Beacon described the case as a “pathetic effort at lawfare by the Palestinians and their agents.”
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, founder of the Israel Law Center, which has handled scores of prominent terrorism cases on behalf of Americans and Israelis, dismissed the suit as an attempt to harass the U.S. pro-Israel community.
“They are jealous that the [Palestine Liberation Organization], it’s leaders and allies continuously lose cases in court,” she said, describing the effort as part of the larger Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, which aims to economically isolate Israel.
“It’s part of a new strategy by the BDSers to file as much legal trash against Israelis and Zionist groups as possible,” Darshan-Leitner said.
The lawsuit itself “makes very little legal sense,” she said. “It involves all sorts of unsubstantiated allegations against Jewish, Israeli and pro-Israeli figures and companies. It’s a hodgepodge of bizarre claims and factual inaccuracies.”
Darshan-Leitner expects that the suit will be quickly dismissed from the U.S. court system.
“It has no chance of surviving an initial motion to dismiss it,” she said. “It’s a frivolous legal action and it seems like it’ll wind up in some law school case book down the road as a model example for Rule 11 sanctions.”