Just when you thought you had heard it all along comes some newer weirder piece of chutzpah
Five people were killed and 200 wounded in a Palestinian suicide attack in Tel Aviv Israel on September 1997.The Israelis responded in their usual heavy-handed manner rounding up thousands and assassinating Hamas leaders they felt were responsible …
That you might have thought would be be that But the story just begins
The dead Israelis and the injured Americans (probably mostly Jewish ) hired lawyer David Strachman who surprise surprise is Jewish and a member of the Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists Strachman filed a suit against Hamas, which had claimed responsibility of the said suicide bombing, and a federal judge Ricardo Urbina awarded $116 million in damage to the victims and orphaned children, allowing the families to pursue the seizing of the assets of Hamas in the United States.
Arguing that Iran was also responsible for the bombing because of its support from Hamas , Starchman asked the Federal Court to confiscate Iran’s assets in the US, including its ancient artifacts in Chicago University, as compensation to the families of the victims. When Iran did not show up in Urbinas Kangaroo court, Urbina ruled for the plaintiffs by default, awarding them damages of $423.5 million including 300 million in punative damages .
After the verdict, the question was how to collect. The former monarchy of Iran had billions of dollars in assets within the United States that were frozen after the 1979 Iranian Revolution. However in order to secure an end to the Iranian Hostage Crisis, the assets were unfrozen and most if not all of it, was collected by 1982 due to the Iran-Iraq War. Strachman, along with other attorneys, representing the plaintiffs, found that the late Shah had purchased a home in Lubbock, Texas for his son, which was sold for $400,000. After that, they attempted to go after assets of Iranians who had previously worked for the former monarchy, but the U.S. courts would overturn all their attempts to seize their assets, as they were not found to be liable for the damages. They then went after Iranian-owned objects held by U.S. museums in Illinois, Massachusetts and Michigan.The Oriental Institute and its holdings from Persepolis became a primary target.Strachman said collectors are interested in the antiquities, potentially for tens of millions of dollars. These artifacts were historically and archeologically priceless They include clay tablets thousands of years old which have enabled historians to have a better idea about ancient middle eastern history
The Iranians were naturally furious as were the Museum Owners (many of them Jewish ) for different reasons “There’s absolutely no justification for this. “The Iranians are understandably furious about this. You’d have to imagine how we would feel if we loaned the Liberty Bell to Russia and a Russian court put it up for auction.” said Gil Stein, director of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago
After six years of litigation by Strachman against both the Museums and Iran (which joined the lawsuit later) Rubin v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 03-cv-09370 ,a U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman ruled on March 29 2014 that the antiquities were legally beyond the victims’ reach.
Shyster Strachman still had the last word“We are going to continue to pursue Iran wherever we can,” he said.