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Victims Slam San Francisco State University For Hosting A Palestinian Terrorist

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San Francisco State University invited a Palestinian terrorist, Leila Khaled, responsible for two plane hijackings to speak at an event later this month. The public university has defended its decision despite the mounting backlash, but a number of Khaled’s victims are condemning SFSU’s doubling down.

Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), took part in two plane hijackings. One in 1969, when her team of terrorists diverted TWA Flight 840 from Rome to Tel Aviv to Damascus, Syria. And the other, in 1970, when she attempted to hijack El Al flight 219 from Amsterdam to New York City in a series of simultaneous hijackings dubbed “Black September.”

PFLP is a U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. The U.S. Department of State didn’t immediately respond to this reporter’s request for comment. The story will be updated if a statement is received.

Rodney Khazzam survived the El Al hijacking and described the horrifying event to Israellycool’s David Lange in an interview this week.

“I do have memories of a lot of chaos,” Khazzam, who was 4-years-old during the attack, told Lange. “I remember, you know, gunshots on the flight because one of the flight attendants was actually shot I believe by Leila Khaled’s partner. I remember another gunshot when the marshals finally were able to subdue Leila Khaled, and in the end, kill her partner on board the flight. I remember people screaming when Leila Khaled tossed a grenade as a last attempt to do something horrible to us when she realized she was being captured… Yeah, It was pretty frightening.”

Khazzam added that the flight’s pilot took swift action by nosediving the plane, which he said saved lives that day by throwing off the terrorists. Khaled also attempted to detonate a grenade but was unsuccessful.

Khazzam described the traumatic event, “We were all huddled on the floor, people screaming and I remember my father holding my sister and I and my mother right next to us, who happened to be pregnant at the time, and basically saying ‘I think this is the end for us, thank God we’re all together. Don’t be afraid, we’re all together.'”

“I’ve heard of peaceful protests, but a peaceful hijacking sounds ridiculous to me.”

Moshe Raab was also a victim of the PFLP’s “Black September” hijackings. He wrote in an op-ed for the Jewish Telegraph Agency this week of the attack.

“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,” Raab wrote.

He added, “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.”

The upcoming event, “Whose Narratives? Gender, Justice, & Resistance: A conversation with Leila Khaled,” will be hosted by the University’s university’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies program, which defends Khaled and even presents her as a victim “who has been maligned.”

The Department’s Director Rabab Abdulhadi didn’t immediately respond when asked by this reporter if Khaled was paid to speak. The story will be updated if that information is received.

“Khaled has been maligned and labeled as a terrorist to discredit the struggle for justice for all to which she belongs,” the event page states. “Khaled was also subjected to Orientalist, Islamophobic and colonialist depictions that fail to even contemplate that Arab, Muslim and Palestinian women can and do speak for themselves, think critically and lead movements. By contrast, generations of Palestinian (and non-Palestinian) intellectuals, militants and peace and justice activists see Khaled as a feminist icon and a role model to be emulated.

The school, which is federally funded and received over $28 million from the CARES Act, as reported by StopAntisemitism.org, is backing Khaled’s speech as well.

In a statement to SaraACarter.com, StopAntisemitism.org’s Director Lior Rez said her organization is “horrified” by SFSU’s decision to allow “a convicted terrorist that hijacked TWO separate planes (one of which a flight attendant was shot) to address their students under the disguise of free speech.”

The University’s President, even after receiving letters from victim Rodney Khazzam and others, still defends Khaled’s appearance.

Let me be clear: I condemn the glorification of terrorism and use of violence against unarmed civilians,” SFSU President Lynn Mahoney wrote in The Jewish News. “I strongly condemn antisemitism and other hateful ideologies that marginalize people based on their identities, origins or beliefs. At the same time, I represent a public university, which is committed to academic freedom and the ability of faculty to conduct their teaching and scholarship without censorship.”

“Embracing these core principles — freedom of expression, freedom from censorship and a university as an inclusive and welcoming environment — serves as the foundation of a strong higher education that develops critical thinking; they need not be mutually exclusive. Embracing hard-to-reconcile complexities and rejecting binary thinking are the hallmarks of a quality educational experience.”

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Shanghai: China’s Potemkin Village

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Following a recent outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has imposed a month-long draconian lockdown on the residents of Shanghai. The CCP has used the outbreak to persecute its own citizens, including through forced evictions and quarantines, and placing alarms on doors to prevent COVID-19 people from leaving their homes. The harsh measures have resulted in food and healthcare shortages and separation of families.

But of course, we wouldn’t know that by reading the CCP-run press readily available in the United States. Instead of presenting the facts, the CCP engages in a comprehensive propaganda campaign that props up Shanghai as a Chinese Potemkin village. The CCP media asserts that China’s actions in Shanghai are benevolent and wise, while Western criticism is a product of malice. Chinese state-run media also insists that the Shanghai lockdown promotes economic stability in China and the world.

Claim 1: China Has the Best Policy for Combating COVID-19

The CCP media portray the Shanghai lockdown as the best and ideal policy. As cited by a XinhuaNet editorial, “China’s dynamic zero-COVID approach” is “the best option to save lives,” according to a “Rwandan researcher and publisher,” “…a miracle for us to learn,” according to a Kenyan scholar, and “a very ideal response,” according to Ethiopia’s National COVID-19 Response Task Force Coordinator. According to CCP media, Chinese citizens have greeted the Shanghai lockdown warmly, even with “[a] mixed sense of intensity, unity and hopefulness,” according to China Daily.

Claim 2: The West Hypocritically Defames China

The CCP press also accuses the West of lying about the Shanghai lockdown, and using COVID policies for nefarious ends. According to XinhuaNet, “Shanghai…has never imposed what Western media described as a ‘lockdown.’” Other CCP editorials actually accuse the West of malice. One Global Times editorial claims that the lockdown “has been deliberately exaggerated by the West.” Another Global Times editorial asserts that the Western approach of “coexisting with the virus” amounts to a way “…to drive out a large number of the vulnerable people with low immunity,” and a form of “cruel social Darwinism.”

Claim 3: China’s COVID Policies Result in an Economic Windfall to China and the World

The CCP also portrays the lockdown as necessary to achieve great economic growth in China and beyond. One Global Times editorial, while conceding that the lockdown amounted to a “sealing-off,” it is “a temporary measure to better resume work and production and to make the economy and society function more effectively. Its effectiveness has been proven.” According to another Global Times editorial, China’s policy is “widely considered to be the best strategy…to both contain the epidemic and ensure stable economic development.”

In an Orwellian fashion, Chinese press claims that China is solving, not causing, the world’s economic problems. According to XinhuaNet, “China has played a decisive role in stabilizing the global economy and resuming the supply chain disrupted by COVID-19.” Citing a Bloomberg article, the same XinhuaNet editorial claims that China “has prevented a huge number of deaths at home and ensured that everything from iPhones and Teslas to fertilizer and car parts continues to flow to the rest of the world.” Chinese citizens, of course, are collateral damage: Ji Qiwei, vice-general manager of SAIC Motor Passenger Vehicle, stated that “The domestic market may be impacted a little by the COVID-19 outbreak this year, but our export market will continue to see strong growth,” according to China Daily.

While the world continues to suffer economic and human damage as a result of COVID-19, China continues to revise history regarding its role. Through its propaganda in its English publications of Xinhua, China Daily, and Global Times, China seeks to portray itself as a benevolent force in the fight against the virus.

You can follow Steve Postal on Twitter @HebraicMosaic

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