Jewish Groups Condemn Campus Event Hosting Hijacker Leila Khaled
September 6, 2020
According to the Jewish Journal, prominent Jewish organizations across the United States have issued public statements condemning an upcoming San Francisco State University (SFSU) event hosting Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) member and known terrorist, Leila Khaled.
The event was first covered by blogger David Lange (Israellycool) who found that the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities Diaspora (AMED) at SFSU will be hosting an event on Sept. 23. where Khaled will be speaking.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has reported that the promotional materials on social media for the event portray Khaled as a “militant” featuring a decades-old photo of her wearing a keffiyeh and holding a firearm.
Khaled, 76, took part in two well-known airplane hijackings in 1969 and 1970, when she was member of the PFLP. She first participated in the hijacking of Tel-Aviv bound TWA Flight 840 and then later the Dawson field hijackings.
Khaled was later released as part of a prisoner exchange and currently lives in Amman, Jordan where she maintains her ties to the PLFP. The PLFP is labeled a terrorist organization by Israel, the US, Canada, and the EU.
In response to the event, leaders from renowned Jewish groups denounced the prospect of SFSU hosting Khaled.
American Jewish Committee (AJC) Director of Campus Affairs Zev Hurwitz said in a statement to the Jewish Journal, “Given San Francisco State’s troubled past with anti-Semitism, it is incredibly problematic that Leila Khaled, a known terrorist who promotes the murder of Israelis and Zionists, has been invited to speak to students.”
In a similar sentiment, AMCHA Initiative Director Tammi Rossman-Benjamin told the Jewish Journal the fact that SFSU is “hosting an official university event, in essence condoning murder and terrorism against Jews and Americans, where Khaled will spew hate and incite violence, is incomprehensible.”
The ADL, StandWithUS, and Simon Wiesenthal center were among other organizations who also publicly denounced SFSU for hosting Khaled. In response, SFSU spokesperson Kent Bravo told the Jewish Journal that while the university provided a platform for Khaled to speak, it doesn’t mean that SFSU necessarily endorses her views.
In 2016, Khaled reported to Vice News that she was grateful to have taken part in the hijackings because she “was doing something for my people.” Khaled also told Vice that “calling for armed struggle — it was my dream.”