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Thursday, November 26, 2020
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(The Jewish Journal via JNS) A spokesperson for Zoom told the Jewish Journal that the company won’t be allowing an upcoming University of Hawaii (UH) webinar featuring Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine member Leila Khaled as a guest speaker to use its platform.

“Zoom is committed to supporting the open exchange of ideas and conversations, subject to certain limitations contained in our publicly available Terms of Service, Acceptable Use Policy and Community Standards,” said the spokesperson. “We determined that this event is in violation of one or more of these policies and have let the host[s] know that they may not use Zoom for this particular event.”

The Oct. 23 event, which is co-sponsored by the UH Mānoa (UHM) Departments of Ethnic Studies and Political Science and Students and Faculty for Justice in Palestine (SFJP) at UH, is part of the “Day of Action Against the Criminalization and Censorship of Campus Political Speech.”

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It was prompted by the deplatforming of Zoom, Facebook and YouTube of San Francisco State University’s (SFSU) Sept. 23 webinar, which also had featured Khaled as a speaker. Zoom had announced on Sept. 22 that it was deplatforming the event because of Khaled’s membership with “a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization.”

Prior to the Zoom’s spokesperson’s statement, UH spokesman Daniel Meisenzahl told the Journal, “The University of Hawaii is an institution where controversial viewpoints can be peacefully and openly considered and discussed. The sharing and debate of diverse and difficult ideas and opinions is fundamental to the mission of higher education in our society.”

Following the Zoom statement, Meisenzahl said: “This event does not reflect the views of the university. It is being organized by an independent organization. Not sure how that organization will address this latest development.”

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