Alisa Michelle Flatow

The lawsuit’s short name is “Flatow v. Islamic Republic of Iran,” but it’s a long, long story.

Stephen Flatow will discuss, sign, and sell his book, “A Father’s Story: Stephen Flatow’s Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror,” at the Central Queens Y in Forest Hills on Monday, Oct. 8, at 1:30 p.m.

The event kicks off the venue’s Fall Author Series. Attendance is free, but there is a $10 suggested donation and any book purchase would be an added expense.

A real estate lawyer in northern New Jersey and observant Orthodox Jew, Stephen had a rather uneventful suburban life until he found out that his 21-year-old daughter, Alisa Michelle Flatow, had died in a suicide bombing in Israel.

It was April 9, 1995, and Khaled al-Khatib from the Palestine Islamic Jihad’s Shaqaqi faction drove a van loaded with explosives into a bus that Alisa riding in the Gaza Strip. The explosion shot a piece of shrapnel into Alisa’s skull, and it lodged into her brain. A junior at Brandeis University on a study abroad program, she was one of eight people who lost their lives in the attack.

Soon thereafter, Stephen sued the Middle Eastern country, claiming wrongful death and other torts.

He won the case and almost $250 million in damages by demonstrating that the Iranian government was the sole funding source for the Shaqaqi faction of Palestine Islamic Jihad. However, that was just the beginning of a long legal battle. While trying to get Iran to pay the judgment, Stephen and his lawyers uncovered information that banks such as Credit Suisse were helping the Islamic Republic illegally move money in and out of the United States.

Due to his efforts, an amendment to the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act is now called “The Flatow Amendment.”

Stephen went on to establish a foundation in Alisa’s name. He also became vice president of the Religious Zionists of America and a prolific writer who contributes columns to Jewish News Syndicate publications.

Central Queens Y is located at 67-09 108th St.

Stephen M. Flatow

Stephen Flatow

Images: Stephen Flatow


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