Jewish Journal

Podcast Interview: Iranian Jewish attorney Darshan-Leitner fights terror in courts

by Karmel Melamed

July 27, 2009 | 3:26 am

Iranian Jewish attorney and anti-terror activist Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, photo by Karmel Melamed

Two months ago our podcast program caught up with Israeli attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of the Shurat HaDin Israel Law Center during her brief visit in Los Angeles. Darshan-Leitner, who hails from an Iranian Jewish background, spoke with us about her organization’s efforts to seek justice for terror victims through civil judgments against terrorist organizations and state sponsors of terrorism—including Iran, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. During the course of the last 13 years, her organization has been successful in winning $1 billion in judgments against terror organizations and state sponsors of terrorism in American and Israeli courts.

Our podcast interview with Darshan-Leitner can be heard here

Her efforts and those of Shurat HaDin have also resulted in more than $600 million in terror assets to be frozen. These were funds which would have otherwise benefited terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, and other radical Islamic terrorist organizations. Likewise, she has been successful in securing more than $20 million in recoveries for victims of terrorism and for their families. In essence, Shurat HaDin has been one of the few groups in the world active in cutting off the life line of money to the radical Islamic terrorist organizations.

On an interesting note, in 2006 I had written about Darshan-Leitner’s representation of Iranian Jewish families of 12 Jews who were arrested and imprisoned in Iran during the 1990s for trying to escape the country. She sued the former president of Iran, Mohammad Khatami, on behalf of these families for his role in their disappearance and imprisonment as head of the Iranian government. Khatami was surprisingly served with the paperwork for lawsuit during one of his visits to the United States in September 2006 during a speaking engagement. Those interested in reading more about this case can review it here.

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Karmel Melamed is an internationally-published freelance journalist based in Southern California.

Since 2000, Melamed has specialized in covering the growing influential...

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