Recently, the dispute has gotten ugly. Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan called Facebook a “monster” last week, for not increasing its censorship. Now, this disagreement between Israel and Facebook is headed to the courts.
Relatives of four Israeli-Americans and one American tourists killed in Israel and the occupied West Bank between 2014 and June 2016 are suing Facebook for $1 billion in damages, claiming the social media site promotes “terrorism” and “knowingly and intentionally assisted” in their deaths.
The case was filed in New York federal court.
Representing the bereaved is an Israeli law and advocacy group, Shurat HaDin, which describes itself as litigating on “the forefront of fighting terrorism and safeguarding Jewish rights worldwide.” The group states its goals are “safeguarding the Jewish state,” and has special activists projects in “Defending Israel from War Crimes and Combating Lawfare and BDS [the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement].”
Shurat HaDin is experienced in seeking payment from companies in U.S. courts over the killings of Americans that took place in Israel. It has filed droves of victims compensations claims from terrorism-related incidents in the past. Most target financial institutions that provide bank accounts for members of Hamas or the Lebanon-based Hezbollah, with few victories.
Although, in 2015, Shurat HaDin won a case against the Palestinian government’s U.S.-based mission over the deaths of Americans.
The Facebook case is its first against a social media site.
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