‘We Idolize Hijackers,’ Says Pro-BDS San Francisco Professor
“We really idolize somebody like [Palestinian terrorist] Leila Khaled, somebody who actually goes to a plane and hijacks it,” declared a professor who hosted a webinar for Khaled that got shut down by social media sites.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
Professor Rabab Abdulhadi of San Francisco State University recently hosted Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled for an online webinar, ignoring the fact that social media companies refused to show the event.
Abdulhadi praised the terrorist, claiming she represents qualities people should emulate.
“We really idolize somebody like Leila Khaled, somebody who actually stands up for herself, speaks for herself, actually goes to a plane and hijacks it … It’s very interesting because in her film [‘Leila Khaled: Hijacker’], she says that it was easier to hijack a plane than to teach a class,” said Abdulhadi, director of SFSU’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies program.
“And somebody, the film director, says to her, ‘Why is that?’ She says, ‘I go to a class and tell the students to be silent; they don’t listen to me. But when I’m on the plane, and I say [to] be silent, everybody listens.’ And to me, it was kind of like it rang a chord with me,” Abdulhadi told the XPress Newspaper in San Francisco.
Khaled is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and helped hijack an American TWA passenger plane that was blown up in Jordan. She later tried, but failed, to hijack an El Al plane. She has been living in Jordan and is a popular speaker on the pro-Palestinian circuit, famous for being unrepentant and and praising the use of violence against Israel.
Khaled remains affiliated with the PFLP, which the U.S. and the European Union designate as a terrorist organization banned from activities in America and Europe.
In August, Abdulhadi advertised the webinar on Facebook and wrote that she “wanted to grow up to become another Leila Khaled.”
Jewish groups and concerned Americans demanded that social media platforms not show the webinar.
“Why in the name of my daughter is S.F. State hosting a terrorist,” asked Stephen Flatow of West Orange, New Jersey, whose daughter Alissa, 20, was killed in a 1995 Palestinian bombing of an Israeli bus.
“I have been giving terrorism a lot of thought since then,” Flatow wrote in an op-ed slamming SFSU for hosting the webinar, saying Palestinian terrorists are “able to laugh at those of us who have suffered at their hands.”
Facebook refused to host the webinar, and Zoom canceled the event, saying that known terrorists had no right to use their platform to disseminate their messages.
“Zoom is committed to supporting the open exchange of ideas and conversations, subject to certain limitations contained in our Terms of Service, including those related to user compliance with applicable U.S. export control, sanctions, and anti-terrorism laws,” a Zoom company statement said.
“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.”
Abdulhadi tried hosting the webinar on YouTube, which also cut the broadcast off before Khaled was scheduled to speak, citing a clear violation of its usage policy.
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