Being a yiddish word, "chutzpah" is probably haram for Hezbollah to use. But it sure describes their tactics. Put it this way: Hezbollah intentionally attacks civilians and therefore commits war crimes as its base strategy. Hezbollah is not just an internationally-recognized terrorist group, but it's also the paramilitary arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which is also now recognized as a terrorist group. And the IRG belongs to a state that has also been designated a terror sponsor. So we're about three layers down in the Fabergé egg of terrorism known as Hezbollah. For all I know, Hezbollah's very existence is probably illegal according to international law. But it can afford lawyers, and like all creeps who can afford lawyers, it's going to sic them on its enemies.
Hezbollah is planning to file a host of lawsuits against Israel over the damages it caused during the Second Lebanon War. Lebanese individuals with dual citizenship will file the suits in the countries where they hold citizenship.
Attorney Ibrahim Awada, who heads Hezbollah's legal department, revealed the plan last week on a Syrian television program devoted to "Zionist crimes against Lebanon." He said that each plaintiff will hire a lawyer in the country where he files suit, and Hezbollah will pay the lawyers' fees.
It beats having rockets rain down on your town, I suppose, but it's still ridiculous. And this is a + strategy, not an in lieu of: The rockets still be a rainin'. Maybe Israel should counter-sue the Iranian government for funding Hezbollah in the first place. And to get its kidnapped soldiers back.
Meanwhile, here in the states, the SFGate has a long and informative column by Cinnamon Stillwell about Khalid bin Mafouz's attempt to sue Alms for Jihad and Funding Evil out of existence. Of special note is the fact that, thanks largely to the courageous fight that Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld is waging against bin Mafouz here in the US, libel tourism is backfiring.
Ehrenfeld's success thus far countering bin Mahfouz mirrors other indications that libel tourism may be backfiring. The largely Internet-based furor over the attempt to squelch Alms for Jihad and what is widely seen as Cambridge University Press' cave-in has caused the book's price to skyrocket. A copy of the book sold on eBay this month for $538. As noted at the blog Hot Air, "By suing publisher Cambridge University Press into submission, Khalid bin Mahfouz has turned an obscure scholarly book on the financial workings of terrorism into a prized, rare book."
In addition, the American Library Association is rising to the occasion. Rather than going along with the Cambridge University Press settlement stipulation that American libraries remove "Alms for Jihad" from their shelves, the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom issued the following statement earlier this month:
Unless there is an order from a U.S. court, the British settlement is unenforceable in the United States, and libraries are under no legal obligation to return or destroy the book. Libraries are considered to hold title to the individual copy or copies, and it is the library's property to do with as it pleases. Given the intense interest in the book, and the desire of readers to learn about the controversy first hand, we recommend that U.S. libraries keep the book available for their users.
Reportedly, Collins and Burr got the publishing rights to the book back from Cambridge University Press and, according to the Library Journal, have had "several offers from U.S. publishers." It appears the Alms for Jihad saga is far from over and free speech may yet win the day.
As it should.