Inviting Leila Khaled to speak is a dishonor to all those who suffered at her and the PFLP’s hands — and glorifies terrorism, which is unacceptable.
As my calendar announced the approach of September, I began to relive an event that took place exactly 50 years ago. On Sept. 6, 1970, my mother, my four siblings and I were on a plane that was hijacked by terrorists.
TWA flight 741 was one of three planes successfully hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine that day — the hijacking of an El Al plane was foiled by the onboard sky marshals.
At the time, I was a 14-year-old kid living in Trenton, New Jersey, whose only care was how the Baltimore Orioles were doing. This event changed my life, as well as the lives of the other 350 people who were on those planes.
I agonize over the subsequent acts of terror that have been committed all over the world ever since my personal experience. What cause can justify the threatening and taking of innocent lives?
Imagine the horror and disgust that I, my family and other hijack victims experienced when we read that Leila Khaled, one of the hijackers directly involved in the 1970 attacks, had been invited by San Francisco State University to address a forum on Gender, Justice and Resistance.
Ms. Khaled is a convicted terrorist. She is a member of the PFLP. She is a symbol not of justice and resistance, but of wanton terrorism and death.
Had Khaled ever apologized for her role in the hijackings or taken steps to show that she is committed to nonviolent efforts to achieve her desired end, I would not object to her speaking at San Francisco State. People who genuinely learn often make the best teachers.
But even after 50 years, Khaled has never expressed remorse or disavowed her actions or those of her comrades.
Read More: Jerusalem Post