Brussels - 28 September 2017 - The AJC Transatlantic Institute called today on European Parliament President Antonio Tajani to investigate how Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist Leila Khaled was allowed to speak in the Parliament and urged all democratic lawmakers to condemn her appearance. Khaled delivered her remarks, which included glorifying terrorism and trivializing the Holocaust, at a conference entitled "The Role of Women in the Palestinian Popular Struggle" held on 26 September 2017 under the auspices of Spanish far-left MEPs Angela Vallina and Javier Couso Permuy.
"It is an outrage that Leila Khaled, who hijacked two commercial airliners and is a member of the PFLP, an EU-designated terror group, was allowed to speak at the EU Parliament," said Daniel Schwammenthal, Director of the AJC's EU office, the AJC Transatlantic Institute. "It was chilling to see a convicted terrorist be cheered onfor her crimes by an elected official - far-left MEP Javier Couso Permuy. The fact that Parliament had only two weeks prior crucially voted to set up a special committee on terrorism makes the incident even more absurd."
"Only a few months after Parliament took the principled step of formally endorsing the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, Leila Khaled was given the opportunity, under the flag of the EU no less, to liken Israel's actions to the Holocaust, a textbook example of anti-Semitism," Schwammenthal added. "We sincerely hope that the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani will investigate this incident and take all measures at his disposal to sanction the MEPs involved. "
"We call on all democratic Members of the European Parliament – irrespective of their political affiliation or their views on the Arab-Israeli conflict – to join hands with those that have already condemned the incident and stand united in their opposition to terrorism and bigotry." Schwammenthal concluded.