Exclusive: Israeli envoy slams Austria’s hosting of Palestinian hijacker terrorist

Austrian bank enabled Arab-Austrian NGO to fund terror event.

By
April 28, 2016 17:57
2 minute read.
Leila Khaled

Graffiti depicting the PFPL plane hijacker Leila Khaled on the security barrier near Bethlehem. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

NEW YORK CITY. -- The Austrian government and organizations that enabled a Palestinian terrorist to hold an April talk in Vienna faced a firestorm of criticism from Israel’s ambassador and the local Jewish community.

“Allowing a convicted terrorist to present her opinions can only serve as an incentive for other terrorists,” Israel’s Ambassador to Austria, Talya Lador-Fresher, told The Jerusalem Post.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which has been designated by the US and the EU as a terrorist organization, delivered a talk titled “Free Palestine” at the Austrian-Arab culture center (OKAZ) in mid-April.

Ahead of Khaled’s talk, Oskar Deutsch, the head of Vienna’s Jewish community, asked Austria’s authorities to ban the event. The Jewish community contacted the state prosecutor.

Thomas Schnöll, a spokesman for Austria’s foreign ministry, told Der Standard daily that the government did not authorize a visa for Khaled in contrast to the Netherlands. A spokesman for Austria’s interior ministry, Karl-Heinz Grundböck, said the EU open border Schengen travel system cannot be revoked. It is unclear why the Netherlands provided a visa to Khaled—a well-known hijacker of planes and a convicted terrorist.


(Leila Khaled. Credit: AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)

Khaled received applause, as well as a standing ovation, for her anti-Israel tirade to a packed room of 180 people. According to Der Standard, she said she is active in an “armed revolution” to demand freedom and the “language of the occupation is far worse than our methods.” Khaled added that Israel conducts a Holocaust against the Palestinians and supporters should continue to fight Israel with the “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” campaign against the Jewish state.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Khaled was part of a terrorist cell that hijacked an American TWA flight 840 in 1969. A year later, she participated in the hijacking of EL AL flight 219.

The Post uncovered that the Austrian bank Bawag provides the account to the organizers of the Khaled event—the OKAZ. The Bawag is listed on the OKAZ’s donation webpage as the method to transfer electronic funds. The secretary-general of Vienna's 7,000 member Jewish community, Raimund Fastenbauer, told the Post that Bawag should discontinue the bank account with OKAZ.

Henriette Mußnig, a spokeswoman for Bawag, wrote the Post last week by email that "according to Austria’s bank law (bank secrecy), we are not authorized to provide information about accounts or about customers."

She added that “We can, however, assure that we adhere to measures against the financing of terrorism and money laundering.”

In a separate email to the Vienna Journalist Samuel Laster on Thursday, who is the editor-in-chief of the popular website The Jewish, Mußnig wrote “we will examine reasons for suspicion whether a violation of the law is present and implement the corresponding measures.”

The New York City-based Cerberus Capital Management company owns 52% of Bawag. Peter Duda, a spokesman for Cerberus, declined to comment on the account. GoldenTree Asset Management—the New York City-based investment firm—has a 40% ownership stake in Bawag. Mary Beth Grover, a spokeswoman for GoldenTree, wrote the Post by email” No comment.” OKAZ—the Austrian-Arab culture center-- did not respond to Post media queries.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

September 23, 2018
U.S. victims of terrorists in Israel ask Trump to bar Abbas

By GIL HOFFMAN