[Note: I appeared on Dr. Kevin Barrett's radio show on 5/29 to discuss this article and related issues. MP3 here (2nd hour).]
In February 2011, five Jewish individuals sued former president Jimmy Carter and his publisher Simon and Schuster for $5 million dollars in a class-action lawsuit over Carter's 2006 book "Palestine, Peace Not Apartheid." Three months later they withdrew the suit, but vowed to re-file it in state court. And it turns out that their Israeli lawyer took part in another infamous case which was also thrown out of court, the case of the Dancing Israelis!
The 2011 lawsuit against Carter alleged, in part, "As a former American president and as a self-proclaimed Middle Eastern affairs expert, and in some cases as a direct participant in the events at issue, the defendant Jimmy Carter knew that substancial and material portions of the Book were untrue, and has failed to advise the public, or other defendants of that fact," continuing "The book is filled with factual inaccuracies and falsehoods."
Alleging "Plaintiffs' injuries are the result of defendants' conduct," the suit claimed that the "Plaintiffs purchased and read the book, on the representation that it was a factual and accurate presentation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In fact, however, numerous respresentations in the book, including, but not limited to the examples provided above, are false, inaccurate, misleading and deceptive and were written, marketed, and promoted intentionally, wantonly, and willfully with the intent to deceive, with a reckless disregard for the truth and to mislead the reader."
Legal Analyst Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University Law School, slammed the suit in 2011, called it a "bizarre," "disturbing and clearly frivolous lawsuit." Turley opined that the plaintiffs "should be held for Rule 11 sanctions in filing a vexatious and frivolous lawsuit," adding "The complaint is written like a press release without a thin pretense of legal claims. ... I fail to see the good-faith basis for this filing, which seems intended for public consumption. Federal courts are not forums to achieve cathartic satisfaction by venting views against an author.... this filing is neither creative nor excusable in my view. It simply takes objections previously heard in opinion articles and repeats them as legal claims..."
Turley explained "The first claim is breach of contract. The second claim is unjust enrichment. The third claim is negligent misrepresentation. The fourth claim is intentional misrepresentation. The fifth claim is the consumer protection act violations."
David Schoen, attorney for the plaintiffs, responded to Turley's criticism at the time in a rambling diatribe, which Turley had the courtesy to publish on his blog. Schoen practices in Montgomery, Alabama and states on his website that "David has a deep personal interest in and commitment to Israel and is constantly looking for ways to expand his professional involvement with Israel and Israel related issues."
Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, listed as 'Israeli co-counsel for Plaintiffs' on the Carter suit, insisted at the time of filing that "The lawsuit will expose all the falsehoods and misrepresentations in Carter's book and prove that his hatred of Israel has led him to commit this fraud on the public. He is entitled to his opinions but deceptions and lies have no place in works of history."
In May of 2011, however, only three months after the hysterical federal suit was filed, it was dropped.
Darshan-Leitner, the Israeli lawyer acting as co-counsel for Plaintiffs in the Carter suit, was coincidentally the lawyer who represented the infamous 'Dancing Israelis' who were arrested on 9/11/01. Darshan-Leitner, pictured here, is director of Shurat HaDin Israeli Law Center and according to her bio on the group's website, "has been leading the struggle to fight the Palestinian and Islamic terrorist organizations in the courtroom" since 1997. In 2004, Israelis Paul Kurzberg, Silvan Kurzberg, Israelis Yaron Shmuel, and Omer Gavriel Marmari filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Attorney General John Ashcroft and wardens of the Federal Bureau of Prisons for their treatment in prison after their 9/11/01 arrests.The four were represented by New York attorney Robert Joseph Tolchin and Darshan-Leitner. They claimed that their detention was illegal and that their civil rights were violated, suffering racial slurs, physical violence, religious discrimination, rough interrogations, deprivation of sleep, and many other offenses. The lawsuit also stated "As Israelis and as Jews, plaintiffs themselves are sworn enemies of al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden."
According to press reports at the time the Dancing Israelis case was first filed in 2004, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said: "The infamous arrest of these young Israelis on 9/11 has been used by anti-Semites worldwide as 'proof' of Israel's involvement in the World Trade Center attack. Our clients are seeking compensation for the harm they suffered in the MDC by prison officials. In addition, the law suit will serve as an important public forum to debunk the lie that Israel or the Mossad was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It will show that there was no Jewish conspiracy as the Arab world continues to claim and put an end to this racist blood libel."
The Dancing Israelis lawsuit, however, was eventually dismissed because of the plaintiffs failure to serve the defendants properly as per the rules of the Federal Court; an absurd and completely avoidable reason. It's interesting that Nitsana Darshan-Leitner seems to have a pattern of issuing dramatic, self-righteous proclamations about vindicating the reputation of Israel, only to later slink off into the sunset unnoticed.
Simon & Schuster, who had called the suit against Carter a "chilling attack on free speech," announced in May 2011 that the "plaintiffs wisely withdrew their action. We hope that they will consider this the end of the matter." However, Plaintiff's attorney David Schoen said that the suit was dropped on a technicality and vowed to re-file it in New York State Court. That was two years ago. Nothing new about the case was reported until last month, when JewishPress.com reported Jews Still Planning to Sue Jimmy Carter over Anti-Israel Book. (4/10/13).
It should be interesting to see what indignant proclamations Nitsana Darshan-Leitner makes to the media defending Israel, and then watch to see how the far-fetched lawsuit against Carter proceeds, if it does at all. Given the track record, I wouldn't bet on it.
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|INFORMATION ON 'TEXAS-ISRAEL DAY':