Leila Khaled is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a designated terrorist organization by the United States Department of State since 1997. She gained popularity through her role in hijacking two civilian airliners, TWA Flight 840 in 1969 (bound for Tel Aviv from Rome) and El Al flight in 1970 (traveling from Amsterdam to New York City).
The PFLP has carried out many “large-scale international attacks in the 1960s and 1970, including other airline hijackings that killed more than 20 U.S citizens”. PFLP is also responsible for the countless amount of deadly terror attacks against innocent Israeli civilians in both Israel and the West Bank. The multiple terror attacks have seen far too many lives lost at the hands of evil who say they are fighting for a good cause, some of these attacks included innocent victims like Rina Shnerb, a 17-year old Israeli who was killed in a bomb attack in 2019, another four lives of innocent worshipers in a Jerusalem Synagogue in 2014 where killed in on of their shootings.
Khaled also happens to be a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) Palestinian National Council (PNC) and is widely mistakenly viewed as a Palestinian feminist icon, that doesn’t genuinely empower women in the region, rather cloaks the blood from her hands and the hands of her many associates.
In many of the recent public appearances that she manages to pull off one way or another, she likes to use the term “armed struggle” to achieve her goals in the Palestinian national movement. Frankly, she and the PFLP’s designated enemies are not Israel alone but America and Western societies, in her own words in the 2014 interview with the Palestine Chronicle (link), “I am ok with using all means of resistance. We cannot say that non-violent resistance alone will achieve our rights. We are facing an apartheid State, Zionism as a movement, the Americans, and in general, the West, which supports Israel. When the balance of forces changes, then we can start thinking about negotiating.”
My conclusion is that Leila Khaled is once again an example of a dangerous figure that is hijacking the attention of the Palestinian cause, masking herself and actions with terms such as feminism and resistance. She is not a genuine nor healthy representation of Arabs, Muslims, or the Palestinian cause if the future is about true justice and peace for the region, the PFLP is a tool to creator greater injustices for any innocent person that finds there selves in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I, Walid Tamtam, from the University of Toronto called on all Universities of North America that wish to continue their mission statements of creating a safe, inclusive and productive environment for learning, to condemn any group that wishes to bring her on behalf of the University of Students there. From San Francisco University to now recent revelations from the University of Hawaii, I shall not wait until Leila Khaled sneaks her way to my school or anywhere else, it should not be normal to have such a dangerous figure around students in the first place.