On August 31, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals, ruling on an issue the PLO and PA had been making since Sokolow was commenced in 2004, dismissed the case for lack of personal jurisdiction. But there is more to the Sokolow case than what can be found in the Second Circuit opinion. First, there is nothing extraordinary about the dismissal for personal jurisdiction. There was always a compelling argument that the PLO and PA were not subject to jurisdiction. Knowing this, the PA and PLO have argued that there was no jurisdiction over them for more than 12 years. Their original attorney, Ramsey Clarke, a former Attorney General of the United States and the son of Supreme Court Justice Tom Clarke, felt so strongly about the issue that he refused to file an answer to the complaint based on his principled view that the PLO and PA were not subject to personal jurisdiction in the United States.
What you may not know is that the Sokolow lawsuit was not simply intended to provide a recovery for the individuals killed or injured in the shootings and bombings. It was also a lawsuit brought by an Israeli lawyer and an Israeli organization, with the support of the State of Israel, with the express intention of attempting to destroy the PA and the PLO financially.
What makes Sokolow unusual is two factors. First, it took so long –more than 12 years– for the Courts to recognize what the PLO and PA had been arguing all along — they were never subject to personal jurisdiction. Second, and perhaps more unfortunate, is the fact that the lawyers who brought the lawsuit did not just want to obtain compensation for the family of the victims, they wanted “to economically destroy” the PA, a functioning government and thereby cause suffering to an entire population. For the full article, please click on our “news.”