March 31, 2010 | 18 comments
My legal battle with a suicidal maniac provides a case study for Islamist attempts at speech suppression.
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What is the PCWF? The Israeli organization NGO Monitor analyzed it in 2003 and found its primary mission to be “propagating the delegitimization of Israel.” As a 2007 summary by NGO Monitor put it, “Gaza-based PCWF openly exploits children’s issues for radical politicized agendas that promote the conflict. These activities are entirely inconsistent with its claims to be a humanitarian organization.” By way of example, NGO Monitor tells about a PCWF children’s drawing contest:
The judges rewarded, almost without exception, entries that featured fierce and violent hatred of Israel. The winning picture features a fire, in the shape of a map of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, consuming the Star of David with the word “Israel” written inside the flag. Another entry depicted a Palestinian flag dropping flames on an Israeli flag and burning Israelis standing next to it. Such activities serve only to advance a culture of violence and hatred.
HAMAD MIGHT HAVE BEEN A PRO SE plaintiff, but I could not take the chance of being a pro se defendant and so turned for representation to a law office that specializes in defamation issues. We responded to Hamad with a motion to dismiss on June 29, 2006, citing three grounds:
First, this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Pipes and MEF. Neither Pennsylvania defendant has had any contact with Texas that would establish either general or specific jurisdiction.
Second, even if the Court had jurisdiction, plaintiff himself admits that his defamation claim is barred by the one-year statute of limitations because any alleged publication occurred “as late as July 2004.”
Third, plaintiff has not pled facts sufficient to allege that Pipes and MEF published any defamatory statements about him. Indeed, he cannot do so: Neither defendant has ever written a word about him or engaged in any action that would justify plaintiff’s hauling them into a Texas court.
My motion also noted that Hamad was a pro se plaintiff with a history of filing what one judgment against him (Hamad v. Austin Community College) called “patently frivolous” litigation efforts that “repeatedly abuse the legal system.”
Three days before this motion to dismiss, Judge Sam Sparks of the Western District of Texas had already dismissed with prejudice Hamad’s case against David Horowitz. On July 25, he dismissed the case against me and later awarded me court costs. For good measure, Sparks called Hamad a litigant with “a history in this Court of filing lawsuits without merit for the purpose of harassment and making outrageous allegations.”
Undaunted by his failure to gain any legal traction, Hamad appealed. This prompted Judge Sparks to issue an even more vehement order on September 6 in which he characterized Hamad’s complaints as espousing “no legal theory for which recovery can be made against any of the multitude of defendants sued in this case” and dismissed his pleadings on the grounds that they were “not filed for any purpose and simply harass and cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation.” Sparks again granted my motion to dismiss, agreeing with all three of my claims. He also ordered Hamad to pay me a $1,000 penalty.
For a second time, Hamad responded belligerently, this time going public with his claims against us defendants. Talk about libel! He announced to the world on September 14 (including in a comment sent to the Campus Watch website) that we
are engaged in criminal activities and fraud upon the public by collecting donations amounting to tens of millions of dollars. The donations are being used to fund illegal activities in the United States and Israel and with the knowledge of the government of the United States and the judicial branch.
Four days later, Hamad sent out an appeal to his mailing list, stating that “closely linked” websites “are using false information and collection donations…to attack and discredit Arabs, Muslims” and asking for at least 1,000 people to call the office for Internet crimes belonging to the attorney general of Illinois.
Encouraged by the court’s attitude toward Hamad, I requested on October 6 that he be compelled to pay my court costs. On January 17, 2007, Judge Sparks delivered his final judgment and granted my request for fees totaling $12,915. Sparks made clear his intense irritation with Hamad:
Plaintiff Riad Elsolh Hamad first filed this wholly frivolous claim on April 13, 2006. Since that time, his “Petition” has gone through five revisions. None of the five Amended Petitions was authorized by the Federal Rules or leave of this Court, and not one version of Hamad’s complaint states any claim for which relief can be granted under any law of the United States or the State of Texas against any defendant. The Court dismissed Hamad’s complaint with prejudice in its second incarnation in an Order dated June 26, 2006. Nevertheless, Hamad has continued to file Amended Petitions presenting claims for relief identical to the ones dismissed in the Second Amended Petition. Each Amended Petition merely drags yet another group of defendants into the same unintelligible morass of vitriolic accusations for which no basis in law has ever been established. Moreover, Hamad continues to name dismissed parties as defendants in his repetitive pleadings.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?