Hijacking a plane full of innocent people isn’t anything alarming to San Francisco State University, which has doubled down in its support of Palestinian terrorist Leila Khaled, who did just that and more as a career terrorist. SFSU plans to virtually host her on Wednesday and its raising serious concern among members of Congress and the administration.
House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes slammed the University Monday, telling this reporter, “This is just the latest of countless indications that higher education has become hopelessly politicized and is in dire need of a severe course correction. These schools should be educating our next generation of leaders, but instead they’re spreading a harmful, extremist ideology that champions terrorists and hijackers.”
Khaled orchestrated two plane hijackings. One in 1969, when terrorists diverted TWA Flight 840 from Rome to Tel Aviv to Damascus, Syria. And the other, in 1970, when she attempted and ultimately failed to hijack El Al flight 219 from Amsterdam to New York City, which occurred on “Black September” as part of a series of simultaneous hijackings.
However, to the University and faculty hosting her, Khaled’s terrorism is apparently seen as heroism. And she’s heralded as a feminist.
A number of non-governmental organizations and student groups have condemned the school’s administration for defending Khaled’s platform. And overnight that pressure resulted in Zoom, the video conferencing platform set to host the event, cancelling the event from its platform. As reported by IsraellyCool, the University department hosting the event is demanding that there be a new hosting platform.
The federal government, however, that partially funds the university has been oddly silent. In fact, The U.S. Department of State refused to acknowledge or take any action despite Khaled’s allegiance to the U.S. designated terrorist organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), as reported by this new site.
Fed up with the University and ready for the U.S. government to step in is Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-CO, who sent a letter Tuesday to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy Devos and U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin calling for an investigation into the University “for potential breaches of material support laws.”
Lamborn went a step further and asked that all federal funds provided to the University be “cancelled.”
“We applaud Congressman Lamborn’s chutzpah for spotlighting San Francisco State University’s outrageous decision to host a convicted terrorist under the disguise of ‘free speech’,” StopAntisemitism.org’s Director Liora Rez said in a statement to SaraACarter.com
The U.S. Department of Education and The U.S. Department of the Treasury didn’t respond to this reporter’s separate requests for comment. Additionally, The White House didn’t respond when asked by this reporter if the President was made aware of the event.
In his letter, Lamborn said he was ‘alarmed’ and ‘deeply troubled’ by SFSU’s plan to host such a ‘dangerous’ event. Although the School’s President Lynn Mahoney says the school won’t stop it, citing the promotion of free speech on campus, Lamborn finds that a radical agenda that threatens American values should be the reason to cancel the event.
“The event is not only unseemly but dangerous,” Lamborn wrote. “Radicalization is a real problem that leads to real-life violence, particularly when efforts are aimed at impressionable young people. Indeed, it appears to be the purpose of this event. Indeed, it appears to be the purpose of this event, Professor Abdulhadi, one of the events hosts, is a founding member of the antisemitic BDS movement and the director of SFSU’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicites and Diasporas/Race and Resistance Studies.”
Professor Abdulhadi, noted Lamborn, has praised Khaled in Facebook posts ahead of the event. He says, “Such efforts to legitimize Khaled’s violent past runs a very real risk of helping to create home-grown terrorists through radicalization.”
The University receives federal funding and was even granted $28 million in the CARES Act, which provided relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as reported by StopAntisemitism.org.
With Rep. Lamborn’s sponsorship of the Taylor Force Act, which ended U.S. financial support for the Palestinian Authority over its continued sponsorship of terrorism, he sees the event equally as troubling. “While Professor Abdulhadi has a right to her views, no matter how toxic, using her position at SFSU to host a non-citizen and an admitted member of a terrorist organization, who has actually committed terrorist acts, is something quite different,” Lamborn wrote.
He continued, “Mrs. Khaled would certainly be denied a visa were she to attempt to travel to the U.S., just as she’d been denied entry to other countries, including Italy and the United Kingdom, in recent years.
Read the full letter below:
Follow Jennie Taer on Twitter: @JennieSTaer
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Arab States Unlikely to Join Broad Military Defense with Israel Against Iran
In an effort to re-charge the Abraham Accords launched by the Trump administration, Sens. Jodi Ernst (R-IA), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and James Lankford (R-OK) introduced the DEFEND Act, which calls for US leadership in supporting Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait) to form a joint air and missile defense against Iran. The Biden administration will also visit Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority from July 13-16. His visit to Saudi Arabia will include a “GCC+3” summit that would reportedly include the leaders of Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and the members of the GCC.
But this grand summit faces some serious challenges. While the UAE and Bahrain are already coordinating with Israel on defense, the other GCC countries plus Iraq are quite far from such a possibility. And Saudi Arabian normalization with Israel is the Biden administration’s diplomatic breakthrough to lose.
Iraq seems far from any reconciliation with Israel. Iraq recently made it illegal for Iraqi citizens to have any ties with the Jewish State, a crime punishable by death or life imprisonment. The law is so egregious that even the State Department condemned it.
Kuwait continues to express outright hostility to Israel. Yes, it is refreshing to hear that a Kuwaiti editorial supported normalization with Israel and bashed the Palestinians, calling for the Gulf States to cut off aid to the latter. But Kuwait has shown little signs of changing its actual policy towards Israel. Kuwait recently banned maritime shipping between Israel and Kuwait, as well as the film Death on the Nile because it featured Israeli actress Gal Gadot.
Qatar is a long way away from joining the Abraham Accords, and any defense agreement that would involve Israel. In a welcomed diplomatic step, Qatar will allow Israelis to visit the country using Israeli passports to attend the FIFA World Cup. Israel will also propose an arrangement with Qatar where Israel would have direct flights to the country for the World Cup. While these are welcome developments, Qatar must abandon significant hostility to Israel like its support for jihadist groups and state-sponsored anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism before it can join any broader defense agreement with the Jewish State.
While Oman has clandestine ties with Israel, it has stated numerous times that it will not join the Abraham Accords. While warm to Israel, it also has a strong relationship with Iran which includes military cooperation. So, Oman joining a defense pact against Iran seems absurd.
The most likely country to join Israel, UAE and Bahrain in a defense pact against Iran would be Saudi Arabia, who has to its credit moved incrementally closer to normalization with Israel. US and Israel are reportedly in the midst of helping to broker the transfer of strategic islands in the Red Sea from Egypt to Saudi Arabia. Both US National Security Council Middle East coordinator Brett McGurk and State Department energy envoy Amos Hochstein were recently in Riyadh to help broker this deal. According to Axios, the Biden administration seeks to clinch a deal between Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel on these islands before the GCC+3 summit. The deal would also serve a two-fold purpose: 1) to advance normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel; and 2) to improve US-Saudi relations that have long been antagonized by the Biden administration’s anti-Saudi policies. Israel wants security arrangements regarding the islands, as well as access to Saudi airspace to Asia, in addition to direct flights for those seeking pilgrimages from Tel Aviv to Mecca and Medina. Saudi Arabia currently grants Israel limited access to its airspace for flights to the UAE and Bahrain.
And as the Wall Street Journal has reported, there have been a growing number of secret business and security discussions between the two countries. According to an Israeli newspaper Globes, “dozens” of Israeli businessmen recently traveled to Saudi Arabia using special visas and their Israeli passports. This report further alleges that Israeli businessmen have been travelling to Riyadh and the future location of Neom, a planned hi-tech city, for months. The Globes article further mentions that Israelis and Saudis have already signed “a number of agreements” which each other, “including a multi-million dollar deal in the agriculture tech sector and a second deal for an Israeli water tech solution.”
The greatest hope for a broader Gulf defense agreement with Israel against Iran would be if Saudi Arabia joins the UAE and Bahrain in normalizing ties with Israel, with one or more countries following suit. Israel and Saudi Arabia have made strides towards normalization. But the Biden administration must follow its shuttle diplomacy with reversals of numerous counter-productive anti-Saudi policies. It must climb down the tree it planted when it accused MBS or orchestrating Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, without presenting hard evidence and ignoring Khashoggi’s checkered past. And it must support Saudi Arabia in its war against Iran’s proxies, the Houthi terrorists in Yemen. Only when America reconciles with Saudi Arabia can the region see a broadening of the Abraham Accords.
NOTE: Due to an editorial error an earlier draft of this story was posted, it is now updated.
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