JON. COOK—Activism in solidarity with Palestinians in the US and Europe has been similarly targeted. Ads for films, as well as the films themselves, have been taken down and websites removed. Last month, Zoom, a video conferencing site that has boomed during the Covid-19 pandemic, joined YouTube and Facebook in censoring a webinar organised by San Francisco State University because it included Leila Khaled, an icon of the Palestinian resistance movement now in her seventies. On Friday, Zoom blocked a second scheduled appearance by Khaled – this time in a University of Hawaii webinar on censorship – as well as a spate of other events across the US to protest against her cancellation by the site. A statement concerning the day of action said campuses were “joining in the campaign to resist corporate and university silencing of Palestinian narratives and Palestinian voices”.
The decision, a flagrant attack on academic freedom, was reportedly taken after the social media groups were heavily pressured by the Israeli government and anti-Palestinian lobby groups, which labelled the webinar “antisemitic”.