Power of Story
Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -
OpEdNews Op Eds

Shurat HaDin versus Facebook: Vexatious Litigation as Warfare

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Thomas Knapp     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Well Said 1   News 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 7/12/16

Damaged housing gaza strip april 2009
Damaged housing gaza strip april 2009
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org))
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

Shurat HaDin, Israel Law Center, characterizes itself as a non-governmental organization "at the forefront of fighting terrorism and safeguarding Jewish rights worldwide."

On July 10, the organization filed a federal lawsuit on alleged behalf of the families of five Americans (one American tourist and four Israeli-American dual citizens) killed in attacks that the suit blames on Hamas, the Islamist organization governing Palestine's Gaza Strip area. Facebook, the suit alleges, assists Hamas (in violation of the US Anti-Terrorism Act) in "recruiting, radicalizing, and instructing terrorists, raising funds, creating fear and carrying out attacks."

The suit seeks to punish Facebook to the tune of $1 billion for failure to censor public communications of which the Israeli government disapproves. This should be troubling for two reasons.

First, the obvious: Federal law (47 USC 230) protects sites like Facebook vis a vis content created by their users: "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." There's a reason for that legal provision, and this lawsuit highlights that reason: Suing Facebook because Hamas operatives use social media is like suing AT&T because Hamas operatives talk on the telephone.

- Advertisement -

Second, the less obvious: As I previously mentioned, Shurat Hadin characterizes itself as a non-governmental organization. In reality, it seems to at the very least serve as a front for, and quite possibly to function as a de facto litigation arm of, the Israeli state.

A 2007 US embassy cable -- revealed by whistleblower-site Wikileaks -- cites Shurat Hadin founder Nitsana Darshan Leitner as admitting that, at least at one time, the organization received evidence and took direction from the Israeli government, claiming that "[t]he National Security Council (NSC) legal office saw the use of civil courts as a way to do things that they are not authorized to do."

Shurat HaDin's lawsuits against Facebook (this one and another, filed in 2015, which complains that Facebook's tools for connecting people with similar interests as "[allow] Palestinian terrorists to incite violent attacks against Israeli citizens and Jews on its internet platform") are, in a word, "lawfare": Asymmetric warfare carried out through abuse of legal and judicial systems to accomplish military aims.

- Advertisement -

The US government has no business involving itself in the conflict between Israel and Hamas -- nor should the US courts allow Shurat HaDin to turn Facebook and other US firms into collateral damage in that conflict.

- Advertisement -

 

- Advertisement -

Well Said 1   News 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

http://thegarrisoncenter.org

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.



Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

NATO: This Deal is a Turkey

US Foreign Military Bases Aren't "Defense"

Election 2016: The Banality of Evil on Steroids

If You've Got Nothing to Hide, You've Got Nothing to Fear, JFK Assassination Edition

Snowden and Media Friends: L'etat, C'est Nous

Bernie Sanders Won't Drop Out. Here's Why.