Sinking the Flotillas with the Weight of the Law

The logic is simple. Hamas is recognized by the United States government as a terrorist organization, thus it is a crime to provide material support for them. The Free Gaza Movement (FGM) is preparing another international “freedom flotilla” which seeks to deliver supplies to Hamas-controlled Gaza, bypassing the established channels that Israel has set up to allow the flow of humanitarian goods into the region. Therefore, any company which collaborates with the flotilla in any way is aiding a terrorist group and is vulnerable to prosecution.

This is the method developed by the Tel Aviv-based Shurat HaDin, an Israeli civil rights organization that seeks to “bankrupt the terror groups and grind their criminal activities to a halt -- one lawsuit at a time.” On June 5th, Roger L. Simon reported here at Pajamas Media on the law firm’s efforts and noted that in addition to contacting maritime insurance companies with warnings of potential lawsuits it had also warned Inmarsat, the satellite and communications company which services the boats. Shurat HaDin wrote in a press release,

We informed INMARSAT that we are acting to prevent the new flotilla of ships from approaching Gaza and carrying out a repeat of the dangerous confrontation that took place a year ago. The letter makes it clear that the company's failure to terminate satellite services to the ships will result in both criminal and civil liability.

Inmarsat did not respond to Shurat HaDin. So on June 27 a lawsuit was filed in Miami-Dade County in Florida by Michelle Fendel, a U.S. citizen living in Sderot, Israel, with her husband who teaches at a rabbinical school. They have the standing to sue given the fact that Hamas rockets flowing into Gaza are a direct threat to their lives and property. The defendants are Inmarsat PLC (the United Kingdom-based foreign corporation,) Inmarsat Inc., and their CEO Andrew J Sukawaty. The plaintiff is not seeking financial compensation, just a court order preventing Inmarsat from providing service to the flotilla.