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.

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Read more at Boston Globe

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

As Vladimir Putin Sidles Up to the Mullahs, the Threat to the U.S. and Israel Grows

On Tuesday, Russia launched an Iranian surveillance satellite into space, which the Islamic Republic will undoubtedly use to increase the precision of its military operations against its enemies. The launch is one of many indications that the longstanding alliance between Moscow and Tehran has been growing stronger and deeper since the Kremlin’s escalation in Ukraine in February. Nicholas Carl, Kitaneh Fitzpatrick, and Katherine Lawlor write:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Ebrahim Raisi have spoken at least four times since the invasion began—more than either individual has engaged most other world leaders. Putin visited Tehran in July 2022, marking his first foreign travel outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the war began. These interactions reflect a deepening and potentially more balanced relationship wherein Russia is no longer the dominant party. This partnership will likely challenge U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe.

Tehran has traditionally sought to purchase military technologies from Moscow rather than the inverse. The Kremlin fielding Iranian drones in Ukraine will showcase these platforms to other potential international buyers, further benefitting Iran. Furthermore, Russia has previously tried to limit Iranian influence in Syria but is now enabling its expansion.

Deepening Russo-Iranian ties will almost certainly threaten U.S. and allied interests in Europe, the Middle East, and around the globe. Iranian material support to Russia may help the Kremlin achieve some of its military objectives in Ukraine and eastern Europe. Russian support of Iran’s nascent military space program and air force could improve Iranian targeting and increase the threat it poses to the U.S. and its partners in the Middle East. Growing Iranian control and influence in Syria will enable the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [to use its forces in that country] to threaten U.S. military bases in the Middle East and our regional partners, such as Israel and Turkey, more effectively. Finally, Moscow and Tehran will likely leverage their deepening economic ties to mitigate U.S. sanctions.

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Read more at Critical Threats

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Russia, U.S. Security, Vladimir Putin