Temple University Students to Host ‘Liberation’ Event Glorifying Palestinian Terrorist Group
A student club at Temple University in Pennsylvania is hosting an event on Saturday about Palestinian and black “liberation” that will feature works by the leader of a sanctioned terrorist group.
“Palestine & Black America: A Strategy for Liberation” — co-organized by Temple Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Saturday Free School — will include readings from Huey Newton, the co-founder of the Black Panther Party, and Ahmad Sa’adat, the secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
More than 50 people have indicated that they will attend the event at the Church of the Advocate, a historic Episcopal church in Philadelphia.
The PFLP is designated as a terrorist organization by the US government and more than 30 other countries, and has killed scores of Israeli civilians since its establishment by Palestinian nationalists in 1967. Some high-profile attacks include at least nine suicide bombings that claimed nearly 110 casualties during the Second Intifada, children among them, as well as a 2014 massacre of five worshipers and one police officer at a Jerusalem synagogue.
SJP did not mention the PFLP’s terrorist designation and its extensive history of targeting civilians while promoting the event online, describing it instead as an effort “to forge a new path for world peace and freedom.” It did, however, post an interview with late PFLP founder George Habash, and described the group’s incarcerated leader — Ahmad Sa’adat, who was convicted of ordering the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi — as a “political prisoner.”
This PFLP’s full credentials likewise did not appear in an article published by a Temple SJP affiliate earlier this month, which was included in promotional posts for the event and described the group as “the most ideologically clear organization in the Palestinian liberation movement” that rightly rejected “so-called ‘peace’ agreements with Israel.”
The article denounced Zionism — the movement for Jewish national self-determination — as “an attack on the unity of the civilizations of Asia and Africa,” and accused Israel of “fueling wars within the region in order to put more money into the pockets of imperialists.”
In its 2017 constitution, Temple SJP dedicated itself to raising awareness of “the dire situation in Palestine … since the 1948 occupation,” the year when Israel declared independence and was immediately invaded by five Arab armies.
As a registered student organization, it is eligible to apply for funding from the Temple Student Government. Yet a university spokesperson said the club “has neither requested nor received funds” for this event.
Temple SJP, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, has previously paid tribute to the PFLP. On the anniversary of Habash’s death last year, the group shared a graphic that read, “As long as you are still fighting in defense of your dignity and for your occupied land, all is well.”
Various SJP chapters have in the past expressed similar sentiments. A post published in March by SJP at the University of California, Santa Barbara included several images of Palestinian women holding pistols and AK-47 assault rifles, among them PFLP member Leila Khaled, who helped hijack two planes in Europe in 1969 and 1970.
More recently, the anti-Zionist group Jewish Voice for Peace co-hosted an event at Barnard College in New York that featured a Palestinian prisoner support center whose leaders have been suspected — and, in many cases, convicted by Israeli courts — of involvement with the PFLP.