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JRelease: 18 Major Jewish Organizations Urge U.S. to Press Jordan’s King Abdullah on Terrorist’s Extradition

July 13, 2020 9:00 AM | Laura Herring (Administrator)

18 MAJOR JEWISH ORGANIZATIONS URGE U.S. TO PRESS JORDAN’S KING ABDULLAH ON TERRORIST’S EXTRADITION

Ahlam Tamimi Was Mastermind of 2001 Sbarro Bombing in Jerusalem That Killed 15, Including 2 Americans

JULY 13, 2020 -- Eighteen major Jewish organizations in the United States have publicly called on the United States government to exert pressure on Jordan’s King Abdullah II to extradite Ahlam Tamimi, the Jordanian fugitive terrorist behind the 2001 Sbarro pizzeria bombing in Jerusalem that killed 15 persons, including two American nationals. An additional victim, a young mother who was also an American national, has remained comatose in all the years since the bombing.

They “express our collective outrage over the Kingdom of Jordan’s refusal to extradite the murderer of American citizens,” the organizations declared in a written statement released today. They “call upon our government to hold… Jordan accountable to its commitments under its extradition treaty with the United States and bring all pressure to bear including but not limited to recent government legislation significantly impacting U.S. financial aid to Jordan.”

The public declaration comes just weeks before the anniversary of the August 9, 2001 attack that injured and maimed 130.

Tamimi, a key plotter in the attack, was a 21-year-old newsreader at a Palestinian Arab television station in the summer of 2001. She would later claim credit for the attack, admitting to scouting the location of Sbarro – a popular eatery in the heart of downtown Jerusalem – and bringing the bomb to its door. 

She has boasted for the record [LINK at 2m10s] that two of the factors leading her to pick the pizzeria as a bombing target were the crowds that gathered there during lunch hour and that she “knew there was a Jewish religious school nearby..." If there was any cloud in her bright skies, it was – in her words [LINK] - that “I admit that I was a bit disappointed because I had hoped for a larger toll.”

Tamimi was arrested several weeks after the attack and tried in an Israeli court where she confessed to all the charges. She was sentenced to 16 terms of life imprisonment. But she was conditionally freed in a 2011 deal in which Israel secured the release of Gilad Shalit, held hostage by Hamas for five years.

“We have been working hard to move public opinion in the US to stand with us,” said Arnold Roth, whose 15-year-old daughter, Malki, an American citizen, was murdered in the attack. “It’s an ongoing process. The organizations whose support we’re announcing today speak publicly and with one voice in this extraordinary call for justice for Malki and the other Sbarro victims. It’s time that Jordan’s disregard for its legal, diplomatic and moral obligations to hand Tamimi over to U.S. justice was brought to an end.” 

The American organizations expressing their support for the Roths include the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, AIPAC, the Jewish Federations of North America, Agudath Israel of America, The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and Yeshiva University. Their statement comes four weeks after AP reported [LINK] the Trump administration is considering the withholding of assistance to Jordan as leverage to secure Tamimi’s extradition to Washington.

NOTE to editors: Photographs of Malki Roth are available at https://photos.app.goo.gl/RooZR2ZfMhmNpfpn8

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Signatories (in alphabetical order):

  • Agudath Israel of America
  • AIPAC - The American Israel Public Affairs Committee
  • B’nai B’rith International
  • Bnai Zion Foundation
  • Coalition for Jewish Values
  • Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America
  • Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
  • Jewish Federations of North America
  • National Council of Young Israel
  • NCSEJ: National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry
  • Rabbinical Alliance of America
  • Rabbinical Assembly
  • Rabbinical Council of America
  • Religious Zionists of America - Mizrachi
  • Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
  • World Jewish Congress North America
  • Yeshiva University
  • Zionist Organization of America

Text of the Declaration and Statement of Solidarity

"WHEREAS, August 9, 2020 will mark the 19th anniversary of the Palestinian terrorist bombing at the Sbarro pizzeria in downtown Jerusalem, in which 15 civilians were killed, including 7 children and a pregnant woman, and 130 wounded, among them a woman who remains comatose in a vegetative state; and

WHEREAS, two of the murdered civilians – 15-year-old Malki Roth and 31-year-old teacher Judith Hayman Greenbaum were U.S. citizens; and

WHEREAS, the unrepentant plotter of the bombing, Ahlam Tamimi, now lives in Jordan; and

WHEREAS, the Government of Jordan, an American ally and the world’s fourth-largest recipient of U.S. financial aid, refuses to extradite Tamimi to the United States, in direct contravention of its treaty obligations;

NOW, therefore, we, the undersigned:

EXPRESS our collective outrage over the Kingdom of Jordan’s refusal to extradite the murderer of American citizens.

STAND in solidarity with the families of the victims and their quest for justice.

CALL upon our government to hold the Kingdom of Jordan accountable to its commitments under its extradition treaty with the United States and bring all pressure to bear, including, but not limited to, recent government legislation significantly impacting U.S. financial aid to Jordan.

PLEDGE to join forces with the families of the victims until their demand to see justice meted-out to the murderer of American citizens is realized.”

Contacts:

Arnold Roth | arnold.roth@gmail.com | +972-54-560-1002
Mordechai Twersky | mitwersky@gmail.com | +972-52-432-4540

Disclaimer: JRelease is a press release service of AJPA. AJPA does not endorse and cannot vouch for material distributed by this service.

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