Terror Icon Leila Khaled Says Intifada Should Have Been Taken to ‘Another Level’
The leader of the 1970 ‘Black September’ airline hijacking, Leila Khaled, who has become a global terror icon, said the failure of the violent Intifada, called as a reprisal against Israel at the end of the 2000 peace process, was only because its leaders were “not brave enough” to take their violence to the next level.
In an interview flagged by blogger Elder of Ziyon on Tuesday, Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was asked , “what does peaceful and non-violent resistance means for someone like yourself, who chose armed resistance as a mean for liberation?”
She responded: “Resistance takes more than one face. It can be all kinds of resistance. Non violent and violent. I am ok with those who choose non-violence. We are not going to liberate our country by armed struggle only. Other kinds of resistance are necessary. The political one, diplomatic one, the non violent one. We need to use whatever we have got.”
“We chose armed struggle. We did not achieve our goals. Then the Intifada broke out and the whole world took us seriously. We gained the support of people all over the world. Still, we did not reach our goals because the leadership was not brave enough at that time to escalate the Intifada, to take it to another level.”
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. Khaled and Arguello 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.
Khaled was arrested, but then released in a prisoner exchange for the 310 civilian hostages kidnapped by her fellow PFLP members, who had hijacked four other planes they landed at air strips in Jordan, and in Cairo. As a show of strength, they subsequently blew up the three empty jets.
Elder of Ziyon described the interview as shameless. The interviewer, he said, “has not the slightest discomfort when Khaled says that blowing up buses and restaurants was not enough for her.”
“But at least we learned one thing from the terrorist Khaled,” the blogger wrote. “When ‘pro-Palestinian activists’ say ‘popular resistance’ it does not necessarily mean ‘non-violent resistance.'”