The Israel-based civil rights organization, Shurat Hadin, today released a YouTube video in a campaign to support its two major lawsuits against Facebook for inciting terrorism.
The video comes shortly after a stabbing and car-ramming attack by a Muslim Ohio State University student last week which closely followed the student's posting a rant on his Facebook page.
That attack and video underscore Shurat HaDin’s lawsuits against Facebook, pending in a district court in Brooklyn, New York. A hearing to decide whether those cases can proceed to trial is scheduled for January 19, 2017.
The video, “Who’s Behind Terror? Rewind!,” inspired by the movie “Memento,” opens with a slow-motion replay of a terrorist bomb attack in New York City, then rewinds time 10 minutes, then two hours, then 24 hours, then three months, to show the key moments when Facebook helped incite the terrorist to act.
“Facebook and other social media platforms have become a crucial component for international terror, the same as guns, bombs and money,” said Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the founder of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center. “For years now, Facebook has continued to provide a platform for terrorist incitement despite repeated warnings. This has become one of today’s top global threats. Social media platforms want to believe terror has nothing to do with them and that they have unlimited immunity and can do whatever they want. We are going to put an end to it.”
Shurat HaDin’s first case against Facebook, Cohen v. Facebook, was filed after the wave of stabbing attacks in 2015 to stop allowing Palestinian terrorists to incite for violent attacks against Israeli citizens and Jews on its internet platform.
In this case, Shurat HaDin seeks to shut down terrorist pages on Facebook not because of their content but because by allowing this content, Facebook allegedly facilitates terrorism by providing services to terrorists. The case seeks an injunction forcing Facebook to actively monitor and block such pages, similarly to the way banks block transactions with known terrorists.
In a second lawsuit, Force v. Facebook, Shurat HaDin seeks $1 billion in damages on behalf the families of five Israeli victims of the terrorist group Hamas. This case, under the U.S. Antiterrorism Act, charges Facebook with providing material support and resources to Hamas – a “foreign terrorist organization” – in the form of Facebook services that the group used to carry out terrorist actions.
“One cannot transfer even one dollar to Hamas because banks know not to permit transactions with terrorists, but Hamas and known Hamas officials can open Facebook pages, and use Facebook to recruit terrorists and aggrandize terrorism,” said attorney Robert J. Tolchin, who represents the plaintiffs in Brooklyn as the local counsel for Shurat HaDin.
“Facebook’s sophisticated platform and services are used by terrorists for communication, logistics, intelligence, fundraising and even prestige,” Shurat HaDin said in filing the first lawsuit. “Facebook has the data and the capability to cease providing services to terrorists, and it has chosen not to do so.”
Shurat HaDin, the Israel Law Center, is an Israel-based civil rights organization which combats terrorist organizations and the regimes that support them in the courtroom via lawsuits on behalf of the terror victims. Shurat HaDin seeks to bankrupt the terror groups and grind their criminal activities to a halt – one lawsuit at a time.