Shurat HaDin—Israel Law Center

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Shurat HaDin—Israel Law Center (ILC) is an Israeli-based civil rights organization.[1]

The Center was founded in 2003.[1]

Intelligence links

The Center's website claims that it 'works together with western intelligence agencies'.[1]

A leaked cable sent from the US embassy in Tel Aviv in 2007, records the following conversation with the center's director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, regarding its links to Israeli intelligence:

Leitner said that in many of her cases she receives evidence from GOI officials, and added that in its early years ILC took direction from the GOI on which cases to pursue. "The National Security Council (NSC) legal office saw the use of civil courts as a way to do things that they are not authorized to do," claimed Leitner. Among her contacts, Leitner listed Udi Levy at the NSC and Uzi Beshaya at the Mossad, both key Embassy contacts on anti-terrorist finance cooperation. Leitner offered a case against Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) as example of ILC's close cooperation with the GOI. After obtaining a judgment against PIJ for NIS 100 million (USD 25 million), ILC requested a lien for that amount against the Abu Akker Trading Company as a third party defendant. At the time, Abu Akker was one of the largest Palestinian importing companies, and Leitner said the Mossad provided her with the intelligence (similar to information provided to USG officials in a classified briefing) to prove that the company was funneling money to PIJ. According to Leitner, the ILC now decides its cases independently, but continues to receive evidence and witnesses from Israeli intelligence.[2]

It is possible that the 'Uzi Beshaya' mentioned in the cable actually refers to Uzi Shaya.

Bank of China affair

According to a report by Yediot Ahronot, the Israeli government solicited Shurat HaDin to mount a case against the Bank of China, and the Center found a plaintiff in the family of Daniel Wultz, an American citizen killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber. Wultz's mother, Sheryl Cantor Wultz, is a cousin of US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.[3] Yediot Ahronot reported:

In her discussions with the intelligence agents, Darshan Leitner insisted that she receives massive assistance from the government. She demanded convicting information on the bank activities, affidavits from authorized people and a commitment to provide for the trial an authorized witness that will say that the Chinese knew about the nature of the accounts and refused to close them. The consent was given – orally.[3]

Haaretz reported of the case that "Israel, which approached the Wultz family and suggested filing the suits, promised that it would supply documents and affidavits by former senior Israeli defense officials, including Uzi Shaya, testifying that the Chinese were specifically warned as to the use of these specific bank accounts a year prior to the terror attack."[4]

The Israeli government reportedly withdrew permission for former security official Uzi Shaya to testify in the case, following Chinese pressure.[3]

BDS litigation

In August 2013, the Australian Jewish News reported that Shurat HaDin has lodged an official complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission against Associate Professor Jake Lynch, the director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at Sydney University, over Lynch's support of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.[5]


In December 2014, the Palestinian Authority (PA) signed the Rome Statute, paving the way for Palestinian membership of the International Criminal Court (ICC).[6] The move was condemned by the US[7] and by Israel, which withheld PA tax revenues in retaliation.[8]

In November 2014, Shurat HaDin had filed a war crimes complaint with the ICC against PA President Mahmoud Abbas, following an earlier such complain against Hamas's Khaled Meshaal. The complaint alleged violations of international law by armed groups affiliated to Fatah (Abbas's party), in the form of rocket attacks on Israel during 2014's Operation Protective Edge. Shurat HaDin threatened further complaints should the PA proceed to sign the Rome Statute.[9]

This deterrent having failed, Shurat HaDin responded to Abbas's signing of the Statute by filing war crimes complaints in January 2015 against Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) leaders Jibril Rajoub, Majid Faraj and Rami Hamdallah (the current Palestinian prime minister). The AP described the move as 'a longshot'.[10]

Affiliations and Alliances

Pro-Israel watchdog HonestReporting notes in its 2007 report that it had worked with Shurat Hadin:

June: HR, working with Shurat HaDin (The Israel Law Center) took on the New York Times, LA Times and Washington Post, raising the legality of publishing op-eds by Hamas terrorists.[11]


Shurat HaDin notes on its 'donatons' page that 'Donations are needed to assist in the funding of the terror victim litigation against the Palestinian terrorist organizations, their leaders and financial patrons. The donations will permit the survivors of the hundreds of killed and injured to seek justice and compensation through the court systems around the world.'[12] Noting that it is 'a fully independent non-profit organization, unaffiliated with any political party or governmental body', Shurat HaDin lists three ways to donate, in the US, Canada and directly to their office in Israel.[12] In the US funds are directed to be paid to the Central Fund of Israel and in Canada paid to 'Gates of Mercy'. Donors are advised to 'earmark it to Shurat HaDin' In both cases payment should be sent to the Berkman Law Office 111 Livingston St., Suite 1928, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA.[12]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 About us, Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, accessed 13 September 2013.
  2. Israeli Ngo Sues Terrorists, Ties Up Pa Money, US Embassy Tel Aviv, 30 August 2007, released by Wikileaks, 1 September 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Chinese Conundrum, Yediot Ahronot, 12 July 2013, translated at the Daniel Wultz Foundation.
  4. Amos Harel and Rutie Zuta, The Bank of China affair - Father of American teen killed in terror attack: Israel is trying to sabotage our case, Haaretz, 17 July 2013.
  5. Racism complaint launched against BDS activist Lynch, Australian Jewish News, 13 August 2013.
  6. 'Palestinians sign up to join International Criminal Court, BBC (31 December, 2014).
  7. Michael Wilner, 'US 'deeply troubled' by 'counter-productive' move towards ICC membership', Jerusalem Post (31 December, 2014).
  8. 'US opposes Israeli freeze on PA tax revenues', Al Jazeera (6 January, 2015).
  9. Yonah Jeremy Bob, 'Shurat Hadin files war crimes complaint against Abbas with ICC', Jerusalem Post (10 November, 2014); Shurat Hadin, 'ICC Action: Mahmoud Abbas, [accessed: 14 January 2015, at 08:51].
  10. 'Israeli Group Files War Crimes Claim Against Palestinians', Associated Press (5 January, 2015).
  11. Honest Reporting 2007 in Review 2008, p. 6.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Shurat HaDin Donations. Accessed 2 August 2014.