Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled in 2002. (AP/Vahid Salemi) (AP/Vahid Salemi)
Leila Khaled

An anti-Zionist U.S. student group honored female Palestinian terrorists to celebrate International Women’s Day.

By Nic Rowan, The Algemeiner

The national branch of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is drawing criticism after honoring female Palestinian terrorists on social media on Sunday.

One tweet — part of a series intended to celebrate Palestinian women for International Women’s Day — featured a picture of Leila Khaled smiling and holding an AK-47 assault rifle.

“I have learned that a woman can be a fighter, a freedom fighter, a political activist, and that she can fall in love, and be loved, she can be married, have children, be a mother,” a quote overlaid on the picture reads.

The tweet identified Khaled as one of the many women who “demonstrated fortitude in the face of oppression.”

Another tweet included an image of Rasmea Odeh, who was convicted of aiding in the murder of the college students Leon Kanner and Eddie Joffe in a 1969 supermarket bombing in Jerusalem. She was deported from the US to Jordan in 2017.

Deborah Lipstadt — a professor of modern Jewish history at Emory University — condemned the SJP tweets, telling The Algemeiner they were “appropriate only if you think it’s a good thing to praise those who murder.”

The Israel Campus Coalition (ICC) also called out the tweets, with managing director Megan Nathan telling The Algemeiner that glorifying the women marked “a gross perversion of a day meant to celebrate women’s achievements.”

“Hijacking International Women’s Day to promote an illiberal cause does nothing to help us fight for equality,” she said.

SJP did not respond to a request from The Algemeiner for a comment.

Khaled became internationally famous in 1969 for hijacking a plane that her and fellow conspirators believed to be carrying the Israeli ambassador to the United States at the time.

She, along with Odeh, is affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is classified as a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union.

The PFLP organized many suicide bombings and other attacks during the Second Intifada, resulting in more than 100 deaths. Members of the PFLP also claimed responsibility for a 2014 massacre at a Jerusalem synagogue.

Khaled compared Israelis to Nazis in a 2017 speech before the European Parliament.

“You can’t compare the actions of the Nazis to the actions of the Zionists in Gaza,” she said, later adding, “The Nazis were judged in Nuremberg but not a single one of the Zionists has yet been brought to justice.”

Khaled’s image is often glorified by anti-Zionist student organizations. In 2016, Temple University’s SJP chapter tweeted a stylized image of Khaled holding an AK-47 for International Women’s Day.

In 2019, the Women’s Resource Center at San Diego State University sent out the same picture in an email newsletter, with the caption, “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will Be Free.” The school apologized after outcry from pro-Israel campus groups.

Later that year, the group Bears for Palestine at the University of California, Berkeley, included pictures of Khaled and Odeh in a display of Palestinian women that also included the terrorist Fatima Bernawi.

Pro-Israel campus groups called out the display by posting signs over them. “Your display glorifying Jew-killers makes you complicit,” one sign read.