Last night, a Zoom call hosted by American Friends of United Hatzalah with approximately 75 attendees was disrupted by hackers who posted sexually explicit images and shouted hate speech. Friends of United Hatzalah Los Angeles Executive Director Carolyn Kangavari who hosted the event said that the attack took place 15 minutes into the call.
“The Zoombombers shouted hate speech and posted pornographic images,” said Kangavari. “No matter what I did I couldn’t mute them or kick them out of the meeting.”
The event was a talk about the rise of anti-Semitism in the United States and featured journalist Lisa Daftari and Jewish Journal Editor-in-Chief David Suissa. It was cut short after about 20 minutes due to the disruption and the inability to silence or remove the hackers.
Kangavari said that a message was sent out to all of the attendees notifying them that the event will be rescheduled and take place in a few weeks’ time.
“We just wanted to talk about the rise of anti-Semitism,” Kangavari said. “We wanted to have an open dialogue between two experts and two amazing co-hosts… and it got shut down by hate, and it’s important now more than ever to talk about this.
One of the speakers, Lisa Daftari sent out her own live Facebook message following the cancelation of the event telling listeners that the event will be rescheduled with renewed importance.
“It could not be more telling of the current environment, when you can’t even have a conversation about anti-Semitism or the current climate of Jew-hating, particularly in light of what happened with DeSean Jackson in recent days,” Daftari said
“The current climate in the United States with the Black Lives Matter movement, the call for tolerance, the call to fight bigotry, and the call to fight hatred, are quite loud. But for some reason, we’re living in a time where social justice issues are pick-and-choose. People seem to think that Jew-hating has its own justifications but that hating other minority groups is wrong. Hating anyone is wrong. No one should hate. In a time when there is no outrage about DeSean Jackson’s comments, or about a Rabbi who is killed in Monsey, or five people being gunned down in a supermarket in Jersey City, or people gunned down while attending services in a synagogue in Pittsburgh. There are no protests about these events and they go unheard.”