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Jewish groups sue Palestinian groups, Hamas supporters

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As rioters take over college campuses setting up encampments, committing acts of violence, vandalism and antisemitism forcing some graduation ceremonies to be canceled, a coalition of Jewish groups has sued Palestinian groups arguing they are “collaborators and propagandists for Hamas.”

The global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, the National Jewish Advocacy Center, the Schoen Law Firm, and the Holtzman Vogel law firm sued AJP Educational Foundation Inc., otherwise known as American Muslims for Palestine, and National Students for Justice in Palestine. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of Virginia, Alexandria Division.

The plaintiffs are nine American and Israeli victims of the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel. They include survivors of the attack, family members of those Hamas murdered, and civilians still under fire from and displaced by Hamas’ continued aggression. The lawsuit alleges the plaintiffs continue to be injured by AMP and NSJP organizers who are knowingly providing “continuous, systematic, and substantial assistance to Hamas and its affiliates’ acts of international terrorism. AMP and NSJP are thus liable to Plaintiffs for the damages they incurred because AMP and NSJP aid and abet Hamas’s terrorism.”

They say they’ve experienced “a wide spectrum of physical and emotional injuries” as a result of the violence allegedly orchestrated by AMP and NJSP and are seeking compensatory damages.

“It is time that Hamas and all of its agents, like AMP and NSJP, be held responsible for their horrific actions,” they said in a joint statement. “We want to go on record to expose these groups for the terrorists they are and make certain that they are stopped from operating in the United States and other countries they infiltrate.”

Hamas, the acronym for Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya (Islamic Resistance Movement), was designated by the U.S. State Department as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997. “It is the largest and most capable militant group in the Palestinian territories and one of the territories’ two major political parties,” according to the National Counterterrorism Center.

The lawsuit alleges AMP and NSJP are “collaborators and propagandists for Hamas” because on October 8 they responded to a Hamas founder’s call to hold “resistance” events on college campuses. The NSJP published a “tool kit” for Palestinian students in the U.S. to use against Israeli “occupiers” and “Zionist media campaigns,” The Center Square reported.

AMP and NSJP maintain Hamas’ attack was justified, call for the destruction of Israel and death to Jews, and have targeted American Jewish students with acts of violence.

After Oct. 7, antisemitism and violence escalated against Jews in America by nearly 400%, The Center Square reported. Since then, violence has increased on college campuses with leaders failing to stop it, another report found.

The call to violence was responded to differently by Republican and Democratic governors. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an emergency declaration, instructed the state university system to deactivate pro-Palestinian student groups on campuses, and Florida law enforcement officers proactively cracked down on protestors.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott advanced efforts to combat antisemitism and state troopers quelled rioters attempting to take over the University of Texas in Austin. Unlike campuses in California and New York that were taken over by pro-Hamas encampments and in-person instruction and graduation ceremonies were canceled, no campuses were taken over in Texas and Florida, rioters were arrested, and graduation ceremonies are going forward.

After “day-of-rage” protests occurred last October, a poll found that a majority of Muslim-Americans surveyed, 57.5%, said Hamas “was justified in attacking Israel as part of their struggle for a Palestinian state,” The Center Square reported.

Included among them was U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Michigan, who was censured by Congress for her unapologetic support of Hamas. She claimed, the phrase being used by rioters, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” means it’s “an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate.”

Hamas disagrees. Its preamble to the 1988 Hamas Covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement includes the famous claim, “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it,’” The Center Square reported.

White House National Security Spokesperson John Kirby has also acknowledged, “Hamas does have genocidal intentions against the people of Israel. They’d like to see it wiped off the map. They’ve said so on purpose. That’s what’s at stake here.”

“This case is very simple: When someone tells you they are aiding and abetting terrorists—believe them,” Mark Goldfeder, CEO of the National Jewish Advocacy Center said.

Richard Edlin, Vice Chair of Greenberg Traurig, said free speech doesn’t include hate speech. “It is deeply ironic that the same people carrying signs saying, ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Jews’ claim they are protected by free speech,” he said. “They are not. Free speech has never included the active support of terrorism, and it has never protected the destruction of private property or the brutalization of innocent men, women, and children of many faiths, not just Jews.

“If the defendants believe they can set up operations in America to create a mass culture of fear, threats, violence, and intimidation to undermine our cherished educational institutions, affect our governmental policies, and force Hamas’s evil ideology on American or Israeli soil, they are about to find out how mistaken they are.”

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