Devorah Halberstam is an American activist who was termed by the FBI as “a true fighter against terrorism,” by the FBI.
On March 1st, 1994, a Lebanese gunman murdered her 16-year old son Ari in a terrorist attack on the Brooklyn Bridge. The ramp of the Brooklyn Bridge has since been renamed the Ari Halberstam Memorial Ramp by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The sign is visible in 12 locations and appears on the map of New York City. After the FBI's initial classification of the shooting as an act of "road rage," Devorah led a one-woman battle to have her son's death reclassified as an act of terrorism. Six years later, the FBI finally recognized the attack as a terrorist act. From that moment on, Devorah has advised officials in our nation’s most prestigious agencies on counter-terrorism.
Devorah was appointed by Governor George E. Pataki to serve on the first ever New York State Commission on Terrorism and then, together with him, she authored the first New York State laws to counter terrorism in 2001, which included the death penalty for terrorist crimes.
Protecting our country from suicidal religious fanatics who target civilians as they go about their daily life is a daunting task. Add to it the restrictions placed by respecting civil liberties and presuming innocence, and we seem particularly vulnerable to another September 11. Our esteemed panel will discuss this conflict from the American Law, Jewish Law and ethical perspectives. .
Michael Mukasey (4)