YouTube shuts down lecture featuring convicted terrorist

Webcast featuring terrorist Leila Khaled shut down 20 minutes into the livestream.

Elad Benari ,

YouTube
YouTube
iStock

A controversial webcast hosted by academics and students at San Francisco State University (SFSU) and featuring terrorist Leila Khaled was shut down 20 minutes into the livestream on Wednesday, Jewish Insider reported.

The event had been moved to YouTube after Zoom and Facebook both refused to allow the webcast to stream on their platforms.

Khaled is a terrorist from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who was involved in a series of airplane hijackings which targeted Israel in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

In 1969 she was part of a terrorist cell which hijacked TWA Flight 840 from Rome to Tel Aviv, forcing the plane to land in Syria.

A year later, Khaled participated in the attempted hijacking of El Al Flight 219 from Amsterdam to New York. After the hijacking attempt was foiled. Khaled was arrested, but later released by British authorities following a subsequent hijacking.

Wednesday’s livestream cut off during a video clip of an interview with Khaled, in which she says in Arabic, “Isn’t it our right to resist? When we hijacked the planes the whole world wondered who we were.”

Following the video’s removal, the livestream was briefly hosted on the YouTube page of National Students for Justice in Palestine, but taken down by YouTube within minutes.

The organizers of the event, including the university’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas (AMED) Studies Program, the Women and Gender Studies Department and the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) at SFSU, had scrambled in the hours before the event to find a new platform after Zoom and Facebook denied the use of their services.

As first reported by Arutz Sheva, the event drew heavy criticism from Jewish and pro-Israel groups in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Act-il project, which lobbied Zoom to deny the event use of its services.

A statement provided by Zoom on Tuesday read, “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,” the statement read.

San Francisco State University President Lynn Mahoney released a statement Wednesday morning denouncing Zoom’s decision.

“Although we disagree with, and are disappointed by, Zoom’s decision not to allow the event to proceed on its platform, we also recognize that Zoom is a private company that has the right to set its own terms of service in its contracts with users,” she wrote. “We worked hard to prevent this outcome and have been actively engaging with Zoom. Based on the information we have been able to gather to date, the University does not believe that the class panel discussion violates Zoom’s terms of service or the law.”

Khaled set off controversy in September of 2017, when she took part in an event at the European Parliament in Brussels titled “The Role of Women in the Palestinian Popular Resistance.” The event was organized by far-left Spanish MEPs.

The President of the EU Parliament Antonio Tajani later announced that representatives of terrorist organizations or former terrorists would no longer be allowed to participate in events in parliament.

In November of 2017, Italy refused entry to Khaled, who was stopped by Italian border police in Rome after she disembarked a flight from Amman. She was expected in the Italian capital as well as in the southern city of Naples to give talks on the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the PFLP, but was sent back to Amman.




top