September 24, 2020
News Press Release

ZOA Praises Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube for Rejecting Program with Terrorist Leila Khaled, After SFSU Refuses Calls to Stop Program by ZOA and Others

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) commends Zoom – the video-conferencing platform – for denying a platform to the San Francisco State University (SFSU) program featuring convicted terrorist Leila Khaled. When the program’s organizers tried to use Facebook and then YouTube, both companies rightly rejected the program. 

The ZOA and others had urged SFSU to cancel the program, which falsely and outrageously promoted Khaled as a “Palestinian feminist, militant, and leader.” In fact, Khaled is a terrorist and a leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which the U.S. recognizes as a foreign terrorist organization.

In 1969, Khaled was one of the hijackers of an American passenger plane. She hijacked an El Al plane the following year. Mass casualties were avoided when Khaled’s grenade failed to detonate and Khaled and her accomplice were overpowered by Israeli sky marshals. The plane was diverted to London where Khaled was arrested. A month after her arrest, Khaled was released by British authorities in exchange for hostages from another hijacking.

Shamefully, SFSU refused to cancel the Khaled event. President Lynn Mahoney justified it as “an opportunity to hear divergent ideas, viewpoints, and accounts of life experiences.”

In contrast, Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube took the right actions by rejecting the program. Zoom stated, “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.”

ZOA National President Morton A. Klein stated, “The ZOA praises Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube for recognizing that supporting the open and free exchange of ideas does not mean providing an undeserved platform to a Jew-hating convicted terrorist.

“Thank you, Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube for doing what SFSU should have done. Convicted terrorists have no right to a platform at SFSU or anywhere else.”