Fighting terrorism on all fronts, an Israeli rights group is now suing Facebook for serving as a platform for Palestinian incitement to terrorism and hatred.
The Shurat HaDin Law Center, a Israel-based human rights group, has launched a class-action lawsuit against Facebook, saying the social media network has become a “paradise” for the spread of Palestinian incitement and terrorism.
Shurat HaDin launched an online petition on Thursday, urging signatories to join a lawsuit against Facebook, charging that it is acting as an accessory to terror.
The lawsuit demands that Facebook be ordered by a US court to shut down any and all pages that encourage incitement and terrorism, and that it implement tougher standards to keep such content off its network.
“Facebook has become a paradise for terrorists, where they can advertise their acts of terror, gain respect, friends, and support, and instructions on how best to kill Jews,” Attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, chairperson of Shurat Hadin, stated.
“The company could easily stop this if it wanted to. Facebook has said on occasion that it is willing to participate in the fight against terrorism, but these many pages advocating terrorism remain on the site. We must do everything possible to end this,” she added.
As an example, Shurat Hadin pointed to a recent incident in which Facebook became a platform for terror.
Muhannad Halaby, who murdered Aharaon Banita-Bennett and Rabbi Nechemia Lavi in Jerusalem’s Old City almost two weeks ago, stated on his Facebook page prior to the attack that he “wanted to be a martyr” and that “the third intifada has started.” Halabi received many “likes” and messages of support for his message, and the next day he carried out his murderous attack.
“Facebook has a responsibility for human life, and has chosen to ignore this,” Shurat Hadin stated. “It has the ability to monitor and remove pages and profiles that are involved in incitement – but chooses not to do so.”
“We at Shurat Hadin have decided to put an end to the terror which has gone wild on social media,” the lawfare organization said, calling on all to join the lawsuit.
The phenomenon of Palestinians using social media for the spread of hatred is not new, but has significantly increased in the past weeks in tandem with the wave of Palestinian terror attacks against Israelis.
In another instance, Israelis complained to Facebook about a page calling for the stabbing of Israelis and demanded it be removed. Facebook declined to do so until it came under heavy public pressure, after which it obliged.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel