SO SUE ME! by L. and D. Cellini Meier


The All-American Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Bloodletting
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When intifada and suicide bombings don't get the desired results, call an attorney.

Meier and Cellini, mysterious authors with cloaked identities and no clear credentials, offer a novel use for already overloaded federal judges: given that America is the new Roman Empire, they urge, dispossessed and otherwise ill-used Palestinians, "like the provincials in the time of ancient Rome, must come with petitions in hand, and file them in the Federal Courts of America." Those courts, they add, may not be able to do much to change either laws or foreign policy, nor lessen the flow of American money and arms into Israel, but they can at least interpret such statutes as the Alien Tort Claims Act of 1789 to punish American companies doing business with Israel–particularly Caterpillar, whose bulldozers, Meier and Cellini assert, are the instrument of choice for razing Palestinian houses so that Israeli ones can be built. The courts can further block the flow of some kinds of money and restrict entry into the country for Israelis who have engaged in acts of violence in the occupied territories, for, in the second case, the Immigration and Nationality Act "carefully defines 'terrorist activity' " to include "a violent attack upon an internationally protected person." Among the so-called terrorists to suffer from this provision, the authors hold, would be a substantial number of Israeli soldiers, including the leadership of the general staff. Meier and Cellini close the argument portion of their book–which, though largely ad captandum, is followed by a substantial, and useful, body of documents from world governmental and human-rights organizations–by importuning Palestinians to "sue often and everywhere."

Whether the federal courts will indeed hear their cases remains to be seen, though the authors do point to case law that may help such arguments along. As to damages for suicide bombings and bus-stop stabbings, well, that's another question.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-9746366-1-4
Program: Kirkus Indie
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