Terrorists will stop at nothing to spread their hateful ideology. And recent examples suggest that American institutions of higher education are perfectly happy to open the door and welcome them to campus to do just that.
This past fall, San Francisco State University (SFSU) attempted to host a webinar in honor of notorious terrorist and two-time airplane hijacker Lelia Khaled. The school never wavered in its commitment to host this prominent member of a U.S-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) but, thankfully, the technology platforms set to host the event did the right thing.
Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube all denied the use of their services for the webinar after pressure from the End Jew Hatred Movement.
SFSU, in partnership with UC Merced, is attempting yet again this week to host an event featuring Khaled.
But Zoom has denied them the use of its platform, clarifying its Terms of Service, in yet another victory for the End Jew Hatred movement and enemies of terrorists everywhere.
Prior to the September webinar, The Lawfare Project, an End Jew Hatred partner organization, provided legal analysis to key officials at Zoom, Google, and Facebook, informing them that hosting such an event on their platforms may constitute material support to a designated FTO, which is illegal under 18 U.S.C. § 2339B.
Accordingly, each of these platforms pulled down the event.
The Lawfare Project repeated this pattern over the last week to ensure the relevant platforms were aware of the event and of their obligations under federal law, which defines "technological services" as an example of "material support."
Although much has happened in the months since SFSU’s last attempt to play host to this Jew-hating terrorist, federal law on this matter has not changed. Zoom, Facebook, and Eventbrite, where this event was posted, decided to adhere to the law and prevent SFSU and UC Merced from supporting a celebrity terrorist and prominent member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
With the cancelling of this second event, the message is clear. Terrorists are not welcome to poison our education system to indoctrinate and recruit our youth.
The United States government maintains a robust legal framework aimed at cutting off support for designated foreign terror organizations - and rightfully so.
Khaled and the PFLP would love nothing more than to recruit for their hateful movement among the ranks of American college campuses.
To allow them to do so would not only go against core American values, it would clearly violate the law.
Thankfully, Zoom and other technology companies seem to be taking their legal obligations (or at least the potential for legal liability) seriously. If this ever changes, we will be here to remind them.
Brooke Goldstein is a New York City-based human rights attorney, author, and award-winning filmmaker. She serves as Executive Director of The Lawfare Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about and facilitating a response to the abuse of Western legal systems and human rights law.
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