Israeli minister urges Ireland to cancel speech by convicted Palestinian terrorist

Minister Gilad Erdan called the invitation of Leila Khaled, who carried out several terror attacks against Israel in the 1960s, an 'inhumane' act.
Leila Khaled in Beirut Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Israel's Minister of Strategic Affairs has sent a letter to Ireland's Minister of Education demanding that an upcoming speech by Leila Khaled, a Palestinian woman who took part in several terror attacks against Israel in the 1960s, be cancelled.

Khaled, who is a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and has been involved in the hijacking of several Israeli passenger planes, is scheduled to speak in front of Irish teachers next week in Dublin, as part of an event titled Nakba and the Right of Return.

"Ireland and Israel share a history of mutual respect and understanding, given that they both cherish the values upon which they were founded: democracy, liberty and independence," Minister Gilad Erdan wrote. "Khaled ... has never expressed regret for her actions and continues to call openly for the destruction of Israel."

Erdan argued that inviting Khaled to Ireland is equivalent to Israel hypothetically inviting Laurence James Downey, who in 1981 hijacked a plane from Dublin to the UK.

"I urge you to cancel Khaled's speech in Ireland and join a large number of countries that have banned terrorists from disseminating their criminal messages and ideas," Erdan added, calling Khaled's invitation "not merely an anti-Israeli act but an inhuman one that goes against morality and common sense."



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