JNF filed its opposition to the Motion to Dismiss on May 19, 2020. It repeatedly claimed, without factual support, that the BNC is comprised of listed Foreign Terrorist Organizations. It makes extensive claims against Hamas and then argues that USCPR should be held liable for Hamas’ actions based on a “chain of liability” theory.
USCPR’s Reply, filed June 9, 2020, argued that JNF had presented suppositions rather than facts and that, “Stripped of conclusory and unfounded assertions, the Opposition would be forced to confront the issue actually before this Court: that the allegation that the US Campaign served as a fiscal sponsor of the BNC and made statements in support of the protesters at the Great Return March are insufficient to state a plausible claim that the US Campaign’s acts were a ‘substantial factor’ – or any factor at all – “in the sequence of events that led to Plaintiffs’ injuries….” (p. 8)
The court’s opinion dismissing the case rejected plaintiffs’ arguments, stating that “Plaintiffs’ conclusory assertions that the US Campaign directly financed or supported Hamas, lacking in any specific factual basis, cannot save plaintiffs’ direct liability claims” (p. 7), and that “plaintiffs have failed to state claim for aiding-and-abetting liability under the ATA.” (p. 11)
The court explained that plaintiffs’ claims “do not plausibly allege that defendants cause their injuries.” (p, 4) The plaintiffs did not allege facts to show USPCR’s financial support to the BNC Committee, Great Return March and Stop the JNF Campaign was a “substantial factor in the sequence of events that led to their injuries” or that the injuries were “reasonably foreseeable or anticipated as a natural consequence.” (p. 5) It noted that the presence of an intermediary (here the BNC Committee) attenuates the chain of causation. Since plaintiffs did not allege USCPR gave direct support Hamas. The court found that USCPR’s “support of the BNC and other groups are simply too removed from a terrorist act or organization to state a claim under the ATA.” (p, 6) The court also found that JNF failed to meet the six-factor test to establish liability for aiding and abetting. The plaintiffs’ state claims were also dismissed.