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February 28, 2014 11:12 am

Palestinian Terrorists Invited to Speak at Anti-Israel Events on Canadian Campuses

avatar by Joshua Levitt

The 'Black September' hijacked planes being blown up by the PFLP at an abandoned air force base, in Jordan, in 1970. Photo: Screenshot.

Hijacked planes being blown up by the PFLP at an abandoned air force base, in Jordan, in 1970. Photo: Screenshot.

Jewish human rights organization B’nai Brith Canada on Friday expressed concern that two convicted Palestinian terrorists were to be featured as speakers at anti-Israel events as part of the “the annual ‘Israeli Apartheid Week’ hatefest” on college campuses across Canada.

Frank Dimant, CEO, B’nai Brith Canada, said, “Not content with smearing Israel — the only democracy in the region — with the tired but persistent ‘apartheid’ lie, organizers have now resorted to including terrorists in their rosters.”

B’nai Brith Canada said it was “particularly concerned” that organizers have chosen to feature Black September airline hijacker Leila Khaled and convicted terrorist Samer Issawi among the presenters.

Khaled led the 1970 midair hijacking of El Al Flight 219, on which her accomplice, Patrick Arguello, killed a passenger and was ultimately shot to death by Israeli Sky Marshals. They brought handguns and grenades onto the flight, brandishing both as they attempted to break into the captain’s quarters. Rather than give in to their demands, the Israeli captain sent the Boeing 707 into a nosedive, forcing the two terrorists, who were standing, to lose their balance, allowing the crew and passengers to subdue them.

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Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was arrested, but then released in a prisoner exchange for 310 civilian hostages kidnapped by her fellow PFLP members who had hijacked four other planes they landed at an abandoned air strip in Jordan and in Cairo. As a show of strength, they subsequently blew up the three jets in Jordan.

Issawi, a member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine was arrested in Ramallah, in 2002, during the Second Intifada,  for manufacturing and distributing pipe bombs and firing indiscriminately at Israeli civilians. He served almost 10 years of a 26 year sentence, and was released, along with 1,026 other convicts, in exchange for kidnapped Israeli solider, Gilad Shalit.

A year later, Issawi was arrested for a minor parole violation, which could have triggered him returning to prison to complete his 26-year term. After a 260-day hunger strike, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas helping to make him a cause celebre by petitioning the United Nations to intervene, Issawi was released from jail in December after serving eight months.

“Framed under the banner of ‘solidarity,’ organizers and attendees will clearly be showing solidarity with a convicted terrorist and airline hijacker by presenting them as honored speakers,” B’nai Brith Canada’s Dimant said. “The sheer irony that cries for ‘justice and peace’ will be made by those guilty of endangering and threatening the lives of civilians is apparently lost on the organizers.”

“University administrations must ensure that their campuses and facilities will not be used to spread hateful ideologies or to radicalize Canadian youth,” he said.

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