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ADL Seeks to Stop the PLO from Getting Some $25,000 Willed to It by a Journalist Who Died a Year Ago

February 4, 1982
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith has asked a New York court to prevent the Palestine Liberation Organization from receiving approximately $25,000 willed to it by a journalist who died a year ago.

In a friend-of-the-court brief filed with the New York County Surrogate Court, the ADL said the bequest to the PLO by Fred Sparks, a columnist and reporter who wrote for various newspapers and news syndicates, was illegal on two grounds.

Aiding the PLO, an organization which practices murder and terror and which seeks to destroy the State of Israel, a government friendly to the United States, runs counter to public policy; and, under New York State law, since the PLO is reportedly an unincorporated association, it is incapable of “taking and holding real or personal property, nor can it take or accept such property by devise or bequest.”

At a hearing Monday in Surrogate Court, the case was adjourned for trial on April 20 by Surrogate Marie Lambert. Representing ADL at the hearing was Joseph Weiss. Appearing for the PLO was the organization’s permanent United Nations representative, Zehdi Terzi, who is scheduled to appear March I to give pre-trial testimony under oath. The PLO was also given until February 16 to submit a written statement of its position in the case.

In April, 1981, Lambert stayed the Sparks bequest to the PLO because “a question has arisen in the court’s mind whether such an organization has the capacity, under New York law, to receive such a bequest and whether such a bequest is violative of public policy.”

Sparks, who died in Manhattan in February, 1981, at the age of 65, asked in his will that ten percent of his estate, valued at between $100,000 and $250,000 go to the PLO.

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