After Zoom, the video-conferencing platform, cancelled an event on its platform hosted by San Francisco State University (SFSU) featuring Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled, YouTube abruptly stopped her appearance live on Wednesday. Facebook did the same.
On Tuesday, Zoom canceled a conversation hosted by San Francisco State University’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies (AMED) featuring Khaled following complaints from the Lawfare Project on Tuesday.
The Sept. 23 event, “Whose Narratives? Gender, Justice, & Resistance: A conversation with Leila Khaled,” was scheduled to take place via Zoom.
Khaled is a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization. In 1969, she hijacked a TWA flight, later blowing up the front of the plane. A year later she was captured during a foiled attempt to hijack an El Al flight.
After Zoom deplatformed the event, AMED was able to hold part of the event on YouTube before the livestream was cut off due to it violating that platform’s terms of service. After the livestream on AMED’s YouTube account was shut down, AMED tried to livestream it on the YouTube account of National Students for Justice in Palestine, but that was removed by YouTube within minutes. The message ”This video is unavailable,” appeared on the screen.
Prior to livestreaming the discussion on YouTube, Facebook delisted the page promoting the event.
A Facebook spokesperson said that the event was removed from its platform “for violating our policy prohibiting praise, support and representation for dangerous organizations and individuals, which applies to pages, content and events.”
“A massive grassroots movement of the Jewish community came together and raised our voices to deplatform terrorism, and we succeeded,” said Benjamin Ryberg, chief operating officer and director of research at the Lawfare Project.“Hate deserves no platform, and we are thankful that Google and YouTube followed the lead of Zoom and Facebook in rejecting this terrorism supporting event,’’ he added.
“Today was an important day,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive officer of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). “Three of the most prominent brands in Silicon Valley stepped forward and said, ‘Enough. We don’t want our brands associated with this kind of bigotry. We don’t want our products to give voice to people who have snuffed out the voices of other people.’”
After Zoom deplatformed the event, SFSU professors Rabab Abdulhadi, who was to host the event with Khaled and has a history of anti-Israel activism, posted on Facebook: “We are not accepting Zoom’s caving in to Zionist and racist pressures.”
Jackson Richman of JNS contributed to this report.