Office of Public Affairs
(315) 312-2265
CONTACT: Dr. Larry Spizman, 312-3479
March 25, 2003
OSWEGO -- The murder of a 16-year-old in New York City in 1994 and his mother's fight to expose its terrorist connections and organize effective measures against terrorism will be the subject of a talk at SUNY Oswego on April 9.
The victim's mother, Devorah Halberstam -- who went on to become the first member appointed to the state Commission on Terrorism -- will speak at 7 p.m. in the formal lounge of Hewitt Union. Her talk, "Terrorism: A Mother's Story," will be free and open to the public.
The presentation is part of Jewish Awareness Week at the college.
When a Lebanese gunman murdered Ari Halberstam on the Brooklyn Bridge on March 1, 1994, the crime was prosecuted as a murder. The gunman, Rashid Baz, is serving life in prison.
But Devorah Halberstam was convinced from the beginning that the murder was politically motivated and that it was sponsored by a terror cell. She set out to have the case reopened, enlisting the support of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Gov. George Pataki and several congressmen and senators along the way. In 2000, the FBI reclassified the shooting as a terrorist attack.
"This was a monumental achievement, the culmination of a one-woman crusade that took seven years, during which Mrs. Halberstam gathered a mountain of evidence and doggedly sought out government officials at every level," said Dr. Larry Spizman. A professor of economics at SUNY Oswego, Spizman is one of the organizers of Jewish Awareness Week activities on campus.
As a member of the state Commission on Terrorism, Devorah Halberstam has worked with various elected officials to write new legislation on gun control, immigration and terrorism. She is continuing her efforts to educate the public and law enforcement and government officials to recognize and root out the signs of local terrorist activity.
She has spoken widely about her case to college students, law enforcement groups and private organizations, and she has been featured in dozens of publications and broadcasts, including People magazine, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Daily News, New York Post, the Bob Grant Show and several television news reports.
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