Eric Cantor’s Cousin Vs. Israeli Gov’t

From the Daily Kickoff Email

Top Talker: American Jewish Family Accuses Israel of Caving In To China; Urges U.S. Court to Reject Israeli Attempt to Silence Witness: “An American family that is suing the Bank of China in a U.S. terrorism case accused Israel on Tuesday of caving in to Chinese pressure by blocking a key witness from testifying. The lawsuit revolves around allegations that Bank of China knowingly allowed Palestinian militants to use its accounts to finance their operations, including the suicide attack that killed 16-year-old Daniel Wultz, and 10 others. Bank of China denies the allegations.

–Wultz’s parents, who live in Florida, hoped that evidence from a former Israeli intelligence officer, Uzi Shaya, who allegedly told Chinese counterparts in 2005 about the suspicious bank transactions, would prove decisive. After initially helping Wultz’s parents prepare the U.S. lawsuit against China’s fourth largest lender, the Israeli government hit the brakes last month, filing a petition seeking to prevent Shaya from giving testimony. The court filing included some potentially embarrassing accusations against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying he had barred the witness from testifying in order to bring “75 of his closest friends and family” on an official visit to China. It comes as China’s foreign minister is visiting Israel.

–In a declaration, Wultz’s mother, Sheryl Cantor Wultz, said Shaya told her last May that China was putting heavy pressure on Israel. “Mr. Shaya told me that Prime Minister Netanyahu had wanted to visit China for a long time but was not invited to do so. Now he had been invited by high-level Chinese government officials for a special visit and was encouraged to bring 75 of his closest friends and family, who were treated like royalty. The trip was condition on Mr. Shaya not testifying,” she said. The case is being tried in U.S. federal court because the financial transfers allegedly were processed by the bank’s U.S. branches. Adding to the high profile of the case, Sheryl Cantor Wultz is a cousin of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia. In addition to the Wultz family, nearly two dozen Israeli families of people killed in Palestinian violence are pursuing similar claims against the bank. Those families’ lawyers are also seeking Shaya’s testimony.” [Reuters] [AP]

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