A California University Celebrates a Terrorist for Her Violent Career

Yesterday, San Francisco State University’s Arab and Muslim studies program had planned an online “conversation” with Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine who participated in two hijackings in 1969 and 1970. In the second, she carried a grenade which she apparently intended to use on the passengers. The day before the talk, the videoconferencing platform Zoom announced that it would not host the event, citing the possible violations of U.S. anti-terror sanctions involved. Facebook then made a similar decision, so the organizers streamed the event on YouTube, which ended the broadcast after 20 minutes—before Khaled had a chance to speak.

Despite this reassuring result, the disturbing truth remains that university faculty saw fit to invite a terrorist to a seminar, and that administrators dismissed objections. Jeff Jacoby comments:

[Khaled] has spent the years since [the hijacking] avidly promoting “armed struggle,” spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and encouraging BDS, the campaign to attack Israel through boycotts, disinvestment, and sanctions. . . . Hijacker, would-be killer, hater of Jews: this is the “feminist icon” and “huge inspiration” for whom San Francisco State [wished to provide a platform]. Its advertisement for the event features an illustration based on a famous photograph of Khaled as a twenty-one-year-old, smiling broadly and brandishing an AK-47.

As a matter of academic freedom and the First Amendment, the university has every right to glorify a terrorist. [But] Would [the school’s president, who defended the talk], like to see her university host a “conversation” with Dylann Roof, the white supremacist terrorist who gunned down nine black worshippers in a South Carolina church?

Khaled’s appearance at San Francisco State doesn’t illustrate a courageous commitment by the school to air the unpopular views of terrorists and haters. It illustrates the admiration to be found on the hard left for one specific kind of terrorist and hater: the kind who targets Jews and demonizes Israel. Khaled is being celebrated for her violent career, not reluctantly tolerated out of deference to First Amendment principles.

Read more at Boston Globe

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, Palestinian terror, PFLP


Why Egypt Fears an Israeli Victory in Gaza

While the current Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has never been friendly to Hamas, his government has objected strenuously to the Israeli campaign in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip. Haisam Hassanein explains why:

Cairo has long been playing a double game, holding Hamas terrorists near while simultaneously trying to appear helpful to the United States and Israel. Israel taking control of Rafah threatens Egypt’s ability to exploit the chaos in Gaza, both to generate profits for regime insiders and so Cairo can pose as an indispensable mediator and preserve access to U.S. money and arms.

Egyptian security officials have looked the other way while Hamas and other Palestinian militants dug tunnels on the Egyptian-Gaza border. That gave Cairo the ability to use the situation in Gaza as a tool for regional influence and to ensure Egypt’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would not be eclipsed by regional competitors such as Qatar and Turkey.

Some elements close to the Sisi regime have benefited from Hamas control over Gaza and the Rafah crossing. Media reports indicate an Egyptian company run by one of Sisi’s close allies is making hundreds of millions of dollars by taxing Gazans fleeing the current conflict.

Moreover, writes Judith Miller, the Gaza war has been a godsend to the entire Egyptian economy, which was in dire straits last fall. Since October 7, the International Monetary Fund has given the country a much-needed injection of cash, since the U.S. and other Western countries believe it is a necessary intermediary and stabilizing force. Cairo therefore sees the continuation of the war, rather than an Israeli victory, as most desirable. Hassanein concludes:

Adding to its financial incentive, the Sisi regime views the Rafah crossing as a crucial card in preserving Cairo’s regional standing. Holding it increases Egypt’s relevance to countries that want to send aid to the Palestinians and ensures Washington stays quiet about Egypt’s gross human-rights violations so it can maintain a stable flow of U.S. assistance and weaponry. . . . No serious effort to turn the page on Hamas will yield the desired results without cutting this umbilical cord between the Sisi regime and Hamas.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Egypt, Gaza War 2023, U.S. Foreign policy