Leila Khaled has been invited to visit South Africa by the SA BDS movement. She is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and an airline hijacker. Khaled came to public attention for her role in a 1969 hijacking followed again the next year as part of Black September’s muliple hijacking outrage.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is a revolutionary leftist organisation founded in 1967. It has consistently been the second-largest of the groups forming the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), the largest being Fatah headed by Mahmoud Abbas. PFLP is described as a terrorist organisation by the United States, Canada, and the European Union.
The other day Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party chose to remind Palestinians of the deep friendship between former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and Palestinian Authority and Fatah leader Yasser Arafat. They posted a picture on the official Fatah Facebook “Main Page” of Arafat and Hussein warmly shaking hands.
The PA and Fatah’s honouring of Saddam Hussein who was convicted by an Iraqi court and executed in 2006 for crimes against his own people, is nothing new. As this was not contradicted by Khaled and others in the organisation, one must presume that such a dereliction of decency is supported by her.
Does South Africa really need the likes of Khaled, an unrepentant terrorist, to be given a visa to visit our shores or is it only the victims of the hijacking and their friends and families who are left to feel aggrieved?