Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Zoom Cancels Virtual Event with Avowed Terrorist After Public Outrage

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The Zoom meeting platform canceled an upcoming event with a member of a Palestinian terror group following a Washington Free Beacon report that sparked outrage, including in Congress.

Zoom was scheduled to host on Wednesday Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a U.S.-designated terrorist organization that has murdered Americans. The event was organized by San Francisco State University (SFSU). The Free Beacon was first to report that the event likely ran afoul of U.S. sanctions laws barring American companies from providing services or material support to members of a U.S.-designated terror group. The legal advocacy group Lawfare Project petitioned the Department of Justice to investigate Zoom and SFSU over the event.

A Zoom spokesperson informed the Lawfare Project late Tuesday that it would not host the event due to concerns of running afoul of U.S. anti-terror laws.

“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 U.S. export control, sanctions, and anti-terrorism laws,” the Zoom spokesperson said. “In light of the speaker’s reported affiliation or membership in a U.S. 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.”

Brooke Goldstein, executive director of the Lawfare Project lauded Zoom’s decision. “All media platforms have been put on notice: either cancel Jew hatred now or we cancel you,” Goldstein said.

SFSU has vowed to push forward with the event as of Tuesday afternoon, telling local radio station KRDO in a statement that an event with a notorious terrorist would help students “learn to think critically and come to independent, personal conclusions about events of local and global importance.” It remains unclear if SFSU will enlist a different online video service to hold the event as scheduled.

PFLP member Khaled, the centerpiece of the event, is one of the PFLP’s most notorious members, becoming the first woman to hijack an airplane in 1969 as part of a massive terror operation by the group. She attempted to hijack another plane the following year.


Rep. Doug Lamborn (R., Colo.) wrote to SFSU on Monday, demanding it cancel the event. He also called on the Department of Education to revoke federal funding to SFSU and for the Treasury Department to investigate whether the school is violating U.S. law by providing material support to a designated terror group.

Adam Kredo is senior writer reporting on national security and foreign policy matters for the Washington Free Beacon. An award-winning political reporter who has broken news from across the globe, Kredo’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary Magazine, the Drudge Report, and the Jerusalem Post, among many others. His Twitter handle is @Kredo0. His email address is [email protected]

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