World Jewish News
World Jewish Congress head sharply criticizes European Parliament for hosting terrorist Leila Khaled
02.10.2017, Jews and Society
World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder has sharply criticized the European Parliament for hosting last week Leila Khaled, a convicted Palestinian terrorist who continues to advocate violence against Israelis.
Khaled, who is a member of the political bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is blacklisted as a terrorist entity by the European Union, is also scheduled to speak in Madrid on Monday at the city council’s municipal auditorium.
In the European Parliament in Brussels, she was invited to speak by two Spanish MEPs from the European Left group – which is comosed of extreme-left political parties from across Europe- at a conference on ‘’the role of women in the Palestinian Popular Resistance,’’ with the support of the Unadikum-International Solidarity Association and the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
“Usually, government agencies – especially in Europe these days – work hard to keep out known terrorists, and the last thing they would consider is giving terrorists’ voices an official forum,” said Lauder. “It’s hard to imagine that a terrorist who had targeted any country other than Israel would be extended a similar invitation – and I strongly urge other countries not to engage in such hypocrisy. Giving Khaled a platform legitimizes terrorism and undermines the peace process.”
Lauder expressed profound disappointment that apparently, no one in the audience protested against Khaled’s assertion that Israel was worse than the Nazis. “Any comparison of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, to Nazi Germany is obscene,” Lauder declared, “but it is dismaying that the men and women gathered in Brussels allowed this kind of comparison to go unchallenged.”
In her inciteful speech, Khaled glorified terrorism and trivialized the Holocaust. "Don’t you see a similarity between Nazi actions and Zionist actions in Gaza?," she declared. "While the Nazis were tried in Nuremberg, no one has ever tried the Zionists," she said.
Khaled was arrested in 1970 attempting to hijack an El Al flight from Amsterdam. In 1969, she had hijacked an American passenger plane, which she landed in Damascus, where two Israeli passengers were held for three months before being traded for Syrian prisoners of war. British authorities swapped Khaled for hostages from another hijacking a month after her 1970 arrest.
She has not shown remorse for her actions, and in the 2006 documentary “Leila Khaled, Hijacker,” she said: “Hijacking those planes forced the world to sit up and take notice of the Palestinians. As long as the enemy occupies our country, there’s nothing to discuss.”