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April 21, 2021 11:50 am

Zoom Registration for Upcoming Webinar With PFLP’s Leila Khaled Now Removed From Platform

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled speaks at an event in Barcelona, Spain, in 2017. Photo: Fira Literal Barcelona / Wikimedia Commons.

The registration link for the April 23 webinar featuring Leila Khaled — a member of US-designated terrorist organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – as a speaker has been removed from the Zoom videoconference platform.

The change comes after Eventbrite decided to remove the event, co-sponsored San Francisco State University’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas (AMED) program and hosted via the UC Merced Zoom portal, from its platform, for violating its terms of service. The webinar, titled “Whose Narratives? What Free Speech for Palestine?” and moderated by SFSU’s Professor Rabab Abdulhadi, was originally advertised via a Facebook streaming event, before the social media site removed the event.

Zoom did not immediately respond to an Algemeiner request for comment. In September 2020, the company joined other platforms in blocking a similar event featuring Khaled — who took part in the hijacking of a Tel Aviv-bound commercial flight in 1969 — but had recently announced a change in policy to give more deference to universities to host events that allegedly violate the company’s terms of service.

“Leila Khaled and the PFLP would love nothing more than to recruit for their hateful movement among the ranks of American college campuses. To allow them to do so would not only go against core American values, it would clearly violate the law. Thankfully, Zoom and other technology companies seem to be taking their legal obligations (or at least the potential for legal liability) seriously,” Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project told The Algemeiner by email.

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The PFLP — which is founded on a Marxist-Leninist ideology and has been involved in suicide bombings, shootings, and assassinations, among other terrorist attacks — is dedicated to the removal of Western “imperialism” and capitalism from the Middle East to create a “democratic Palestine.”

“Campuses are a place for the exchange of ideas, but hosting a terrorist & member of a US-designated FTO, who promotes violence, is wrong & offensive. SFSU and UC Merced should do better for their students and reconsider allowing this event,” the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) commented in a tweet Tuesday.

A request for comment sent by The Algemeiner to UC Merced did not get an immediate response.

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