Tuesday, October 27, 2020

American Association of University Professors knowingly lies about Zoom, loses its credibility

The NYU - American Association of University Professors issued a statement about Zoom denying PFLP terrorist Leila Khaled on their platform.


Today, Zoom unilaterally shut down a webinar hosted by the NYU chapter of the AAUP, and co-sponsored by several NYU departments and institutes. The webinar was scheduled to discuss the censorship, by Zoom and other big tech platforms, of an open classroom session last month at SFSU, featuring the Palestinian rights advocate Leila Khaled.

Of course, we recognize that it is an act of sick comedy to censor an event about censorship, but it raises serious questions about the capacity of a corporate, third-party vendor to decide what is acceptable academic speech and what is not.

The shutdown of a campus event is a clear violation of the principle of academic freedom that universities are obliged to observe. Allowing Zoom to override this bedrock principle, at the behest of organized, politically motivated groups, is a grave error for any university administration to make, and it should not escape censure from faculty and students.

The NYU administration has told us they knew nothing about Zoom’s decision, and that they have taken up the issue with the company’s representatives. We urge the administration to issue a strong statement denouncing this act, and to revisit the terms of its contract with Zoom.

If Zoom will not walk back its policy of canceling webinars featuring Palestinian speech and advocacy, college presidents should break their agreements with the company.

The AAUP chapter is committed to organizing an event for the NYU community to discuss this appalling breach of academic norms.
Back in ancient times of a couple of decades ago, university professors were expected to tell the truth. It seems to be a minimum requirement for the job. But at NYU, the AAUP seems to be allergic to veracity.

Nowhere in this letter does it say the reason Zoom does not allow Leila Khaled on its platform. This is strange because anyone can read Zoom's Prohibited Use policy:
Prohibited Use. You agree that You will not use, and will not permit any End User to use, the Services to: ... use the Services in violation of any Zoom policy or in a manner that violates applicable law, including but not limited to ...anti-terrorism laws and regulations...

Hosting and promoting a terrorists violates anti-terrorism laws.  

The reason is because Khaled is a member of a terror group, not because she is an advocate for Palestinians.  

When the NYU-AAUP says Zoom has a policy of "canceling webinars featuring Palestinian speech and advocacy," they are not only lying - they are knowingly lying. There are plenty of pro-Palestinian Zoom meetings, every single day. 

Almost as bad is saying that Zoom is "censoring" anything by adhering to its own rules against using the platform for terrorism that it has had in place since 2012. 

The AAUP, with this statement, has destroyed its credibility - in support of an unrepentant terrorist and current member of an active terror group.

Not to mention that the AAUP has not, to my knowledge, ever said a word in support of academic freedom when  gangs of Israel-haters who disrupt lectures and speeches by Zionists or Israelis. This only becomes a "bedrock principle" when a terrorist is affected. Which is its own kind of sickness.

(h/t Andrew P)

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.