Lapid tries to block Palestinian terrorist hijacker from speaking in Spain

Leila Khaled, who spoke in EU parliament on ‘The Role of Women in the Palestinian Popular Resistance,’ now set to talk in Madrid

Convicted Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled speaks at an event in Beirut in January 2009. (CC BY 2.0, Sebastian Baryli, Wikipedia)
Convicted Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled speaks at an event in Beirut in January 2009. (CC BY 2.0, Sebastian Baryli, Wikipedia)

Leila Khaled, a convicted Palestinian hijacker who has continued to advocate violence against Israelis, is reportedly slated to give two talks in Spain in the next few days despite attempts by Israeli officials to block her.

Khaled, who was invited to Brussels to speak at the European Parliament on Tuesday by lawmakers representing the far-left Izquierda Unida party from Spain, is next scheduled to speak at Madrid University on Saturday and at another venue at the beginning of the week, Channel 2 reported on Thursday.

In her Brussels address, Khaled attacked Israel and said Zionists were worse than Nazis.

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

Khaled was arrested by Israeli sky marshals in 1970. She was carrying two grenades while attempting to hijack an El Al flight from Amsterdam with a partner, whom the security officers killed. British authorities released her in exchange for hostages from another hijacking a month after her arrest.

She had already hijacked an American passenger plane in 1969, landing it in Damascus, where the two Israeli passengers aboard were held for three months before they were traded for Syrian prisoners of war in Israeli jails.

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

Yesh Atid party chair Yair Lapid at a press conference in Tel Aviv, September 12, 2017. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

MK Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party, sent a letter on Thursday to Ildefonso Castro López, Spanish State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, asking that the state block the two events.

“It is a scandal that the European Parliament gave this platform to a terrorist and a terror group,” Lapid wrote. “Spain must not make the same mistake. This is not only a protest against their statements in the past, but also out of concern that public funds of the Spanish government will be used in the future for supporting terror.”

NGO Monitor, a pro-Israel group that says in its mission statement that it promotes accountability for international bodies, sent a letter to European MPs about the PFLP event at the European Parliament.

“It is outrageous that the European Parliament is giving a platform to a terrorist and her organization, and that these affiliations are being openly advertised,” the letter stated. “NGO Monitor strongly condemns any parliament group hosting internationally recognized terrorists as well as civil society organizations (CSOs) with ties to terror organizations.”

JTA contributed to this report.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed