Leila Khaled, a convicted terrorist, was honored by the European Parliament, where she spoke on the role of women in the “Palestinian struggle.”
Leila Khaled, a convicted Palestinian terrorist who continues to advocate for the murder of Israeli civilians, on Tuesday addressed a conference on “The Role of Women in the Palestinian Popular Struggle” in the European Parliament.
Khaled appeared despite the fact that her organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), has been listed as a terror group by the European Parliament, European Union, the United Nations and other international forums.
Khaled hijacked a civilian American airplane in 1969 and forced it to land in Damascus, Syria, handing two Israeli civilians to Syrian authorities. Syria held the Israelis in custody for three months before trading them for Syrian prisoners of war held by Israel.
A year later, she was arrested by Israeli security officials while in possession of two hand grenades ahead of an attempt to hijack an El Al flight from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv.
An ‘Utter Disgrace’
Responding to the invitation, the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Brussels-based Transatlantic Institute said the group was “deeply concerned,” calling the event an “utter disgrace.”
“It would be a sad irony if Parliament, only days after crucially setting up a special committee on terrorism, were to welcome and lionize as a ‘resistance fighter’ a convicted terrorist,” said Institute Director Daniel Schwammenthal in a statement ahead of Khaled’s appearance, urging the Parliament’s President Antonio Tajani to block the speech.
Pro-Israel members of the European Parliament were also critical of the invitation.
Anders Vistisen, a vice chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament and a lawmaker from Denmark, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that Khaled’s appearance was merely the latest in a long string of clear signals that the Parliamentary leadership does not oppose the appearance of terrorists in the pan-European body.
“The leadership of the European Parliament decided not to intervene even though they had the opportunity and the right to do so if they had found that her appearance would violate the dignity of the European Parliament. It seems that the leadership of the European Parliament has put down a line that even convicted terrorists will be allowed to speak in parliament,” Vistisen told TPS.
By: Andrew Friedman/TPS
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