Khaled is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s (PFLP), which has been designated as a terrorist organization by the United States.
After the event was announced on Facebook, Israeli and Jewish groups reportedly urged Zoom to cancel the webinar, saying that Zoom would be exposing itself to criminal liability for providing “material support or resources” to a terrorist group.
In response, Zoom prohibited the organizer of the event, the Arab and Muslim Ethnicity and Diasporas Studies department from hosting the webinar, while Facebook took down the event page for the talk for violating its policy “prohibiting praise, support and representation for dangerous organizations and individuals”.
Zoom said their reasoning in response to the Lawfare Project, an American pro-Israel organization, which wrote a letter demanding that Zoom remove the event. Zoom’s decision was criticised by human rights activists and journalists for censoring content and limiting free speech. Over 2,000 people have signed a petition to support academic freedom on Palestine in support of the webinar.
“Glad to see Zoom preventing PFLP terrorist Leila Khaled from abusing its platform to spread her bigotry and calls for Jewish State’s destruction at an SFSU event today”, said Israel’s minister of strategic affairs, Orit Farkash Hacohen.
Earlier this year, more than 50 Palestinian journalists and activists had their profiles deleted or deactivated by Facebook, for “not following Community Standards”.