WJC Deeply Disturbed by EU Parliament for Hosting Convicted Terrorist, Urges Others Not to Give Her Platform

NEW YORK –  Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), today sharply criticized the European Parliament for hosting Leila Khaled, a convicted Palestinian terrorist who continues to advocate violence against Israelis. She is also scheduled to speak in Spain at the publicly funded University of Madrid on Sept. 30 and at the Madrid city council’s municipal auditorium on Oct. 2.

“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.”

Khaled was the keynote speaker at an event on Palestinian women’s resistance Tuesday night at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Khaled 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.”

A member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which is blacklisted as a terrorist entity by the European Union, 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.

About the World Jewish Congress

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) is the international organization representing Jewish communities in 100 countries to governments, parliaments and international organizations.

Media contacts

New York: Ryan Greiss, Puder PR
Cell: +1 201-906-0497

New York: Aliyana Traison
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