Leila Khaled .
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
In 1969, Leila Khaled was part of a team that hijacked TWA Flight 840 – a flight on its way to Israel. The flight was diverted to Damascas, where the plane was then blown up. From that moment, Leila Khaled become a hero to the Palestinian terrorist movement and their infamous hijacking campaigns. She unleashed terror in the air, and the innocents suffered. Although the world doesn’t seem to recognize terror against Jews and Israelis as terrorism – anyone with common sense knows that it is.
Now, 46 years later in South Africa, Leila Khaled is again making an appearance – this time as a guest of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement – the group that incorrectly labels itself as pro-Palestinian, when in reality, it’s anti-Semitic and anti-Israel. The reason for this visit is for a fund-raising campaign for the BDS movement. I’ve written about the BDS movement in the past – their most recent endeavor in South Africa was an attempt to plant a pig’s head in the kosher section of a South African supermarket – only problem was that they accidentally placed it in the halal section!
Now, there are quite a few disturbing aspects to this story. Firstly, how does South Africa, the country of my birth, which is a democratic country that claims to be a non-racist country allow a convicted terrorist into its borders to be the guest of a movement, whose anti-Semitism is transparent on so many levels. The answer, unfortunately, lies in the actions of the South African government towards the situation in Israel, and any reading will quickly tell you that their loyalties lie firmly with their Palestinians. There is no pretense at being objective.
The second, and possibly more disturbing factor, is a website for Cape Town Muslims that advertises Leila Khaled’s visit as an opportunity to “dine with the remarkable living legend” alongside a picture of her clutching an AK-47. Now everyone knows that not all Muslims are terrorists and that a great deal are just hard working individuals trying to make a living. Yet, an advertisement for the opportunity to break bread with a terrorist, who was part of a wave of terror that swept the world, is advertised with great pride as an opportunity to meet with her and discuss ways to delegitimize Israel.
In the wake of the march of unity in Paris over the terrorist attacks -- including an attack on a kosher deli -- that killed 17 people, it is hard to envisage that event as anything more than a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Its objective was supposed to be one against terror and that overused phrase of not changing “our way of life”, but in reality nothing will change.
And nothing will change when countries like South Africa hold the door open for convicted terrorists – to legitimize their hatred, rather than condemn it.
Nothing will change when anti-Semitic organizations like the BDS movements, who preach anger and not hope, tyranny and not progress, the destruction of a country, rather than the building of another – are not called out on their hypocritical stands by international organizations and countries like France. It is one thing to speak against anti-Semitism, but it is quite another to do something about it.