Ny State’s “Libel Terrorism Protection Act”
By FrontPageMagazine.com | by David Horowitz
Friday, February 1st, 2008 @ 6:00AM
As the head of The David Horowitz Freedom Center and Editor-in-Chief of Frontpagemag.com, I welcome the bipartisan “Libel Terrorism Protection Act” (A-9652 and S-6687), which was introduced two weeks ago in the New York Assembly and Senate by Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D) and Senator Dean Skelos (R). The bill was introduced to protect New York authors and publishers who expose terrorism and terrorist financiers from meritless defamation lawsuits filed in foreign courts. A wealthy Saudi has now successfully silenced more than 40 authors and publishers, including many Americans, through threats and lawsuits in the U.K., which has notoriously plaintiff-friendly libel laws.
Dr. Ehrenfeld, author of Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It (https://acdemocracy.org) was sued by Saudi billionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz in a London court, despite the fact that the book was never published in England and neither Ehrenfeld nor bin Mahfouz reside there. Ehrenfeld refused to acknowledge the British court which ruled against her by default. The Court ordered large monetary damages, a “declaration of falsity” against the book, a demand for a public apology, an injunction against U.K. publication, and the destruction of the book. We urge the NY legislators to pass “Libel Terrorism Protection Act.” This law will amend New York state nerrow “long arm” statutes to PROTECT New York writers and publishers from foreign libel lawsuits. We must stop Saudis use of foreign jurisdictions to successfully dilute America’s First Amendment protections of speech and free press.
The sooner New York passes the proposed “Libel Terrorism Protection Act” into law, the sooner the publishing capital of the U.S. and the free world — NY author and eventually U.S. authors — will be safe from meritless foreign libel judgments. Our First Amendment rights, free speech and free press have already been chilled. The Libel Terrorism Protection Act is CRITICAL to protect the U.S. Constitution–the First Amendment. We must protect journalists’ right to expose terrorists and their funders, and citizens’ rights to be informed. Democracy cannot survive without a free press. I commend the New York legislators for this important initiative and urge them to sign the Libel Terrorism Protection Act into law as soon as possible.
David Horowitz, Editor-in-Chief FRONTPAGEMAG.com & Director, The Freedom Center
We encourage our readers to send Statements of Support in pdf form, email or fax, to:
Dean G. Skelos
Deputy Majority Leader for Legislative Operations
9th Senate District
55 Front Street
Rockville Centre, NY 11570
Fax: (516) 766-8011
Assemblyman Rory Lancman
New York State Assembly
77-40 170th Street
Fresh Meadows, NY 11366
718-820-0241 (District Office)
The chair persons of the Assembly and Senate Judiciary Committees:
John A. DeFrancisco – http://senatordefrancisco.org/50/default.aspx (Senate)
Fax: 518-426-6952 or 315-472-4157
Helene E. Weinstein – http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem?ad=041 (Assembly)