PFLP terrorist Leila Khaled who was a member of a team that on August 29, 1969, hijacked TWA Flight 840 on its way from Rome to Tel Aviv and diverted the Boeing 707 to Damascus, was scheduled to speak on Wednesday at a San Francisco State University class Zoom panel, but on Tuesday, Zoom announced a denial of its services to the event, Golden Gate Express reported.
On September 6, 1970, Khaled and Patrick Argüello, a Nicaraguan–American, attempted to hijack El Al Flight 219 from Amsterdam to New York City, also for the PFLP, when Israeli sky marshals killed Argüello and overpowered Khaled.
Khaled spent less than one month in a British jail when she was released as part of a hostage deal.
Victory! Thx to our campaign to #EndJewHatred on @zoom_us & at @SFSU Zoom announced that it will not allow SFSU to use its platform to spread the hate of a convicted terrorist who rationalizes the murder of Jews. Our fight to #EndJewHatred continues, but today was a good day. pic.twitter.com/NND4UpppzE
— Micha Danzig (@DanzigMD) September 23, 2020
Zoom said it was responding to a protest in front of its headquarters of several Jewish organizations led by End Jew Hatred. The rally included the New York-based legal fund the Lawfare Project, San Diego-based anti-Semitism educational nonprofit Shield of David, and the network of pro-Israel youth groups Club Z.
Brian Blacher, a co-founder of Shield of David who was at the protest, told The Jewish News of Northern California: “We’re asking Zoom to not be a platform for this terrorist to speak. I believe in the First Amendment, but this is unnecessary, to host a terrorist. And it’s unprecedented that we are giving them a platform.”
The Zoom panel was titled “Whose Narratives? Gender, Justice, & Resistance,” and was hosted by AMED (Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies) and co-moderated by SFSU Associate Professor Rabab Abdulhadi and Tomomi Kinukawa, a professor from the Women and Gender Studies department. The event anticipated more than 800 attendees on Zoom and attracted almost 4,000 interested guests on Facebook.
Khaled resides in Jordan, and her terrorist group is on the State Department list of organizations whose members are banned from entering the US. But that, of course, does not include virtual entry.
Zoom issued the following statement which it sent the Lawfare Project:
“Zoom is committed to supporting the open exchange of ideas and conversations, subject to certain limitations contained in our Terms of Service, including those related to user compliance with applicable US export control, sanctions, and anti-terrorism laws. In light of the speaker’s reported affiliation or membership in a US-designated foreign terrorist organization, and SFSU’s inability to confirm otherwise, we determined the meeting is in violation of Zoom’s Terms of Service and told SFSU they may not use Zoom for this particular event.”
— BrookeGoldstein (@GoldsteinBrooke) September 23, 2020