Taxpayer-funded University Invites Terrorist to Address Students

Twelve days after America marked the 19th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil, the San Francisco State University will host an avowed terrorist — a woman who helped hijack two planes — to speak at an event celebrating free speech.

The invitation to Leila Khaled, scheduled to participate in a Sept. 23 roundtable, has roiled jewish and pro-Israel groups on campus, and rightfully so. College campuses have become cesspools of liberal indoctrination.

By inviting Khaled to speak, by treating her as some kind of hero, and by celebrating what she has to “add” to the conversation, these liberal institutions normalize (if not celebrate) anti-Semitic behavior and acts of violence.

In 1969, Khaled became a hero in Palestine as a member of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine when she hijacked a flight bound for Tel Aviv. A year later, after getting plastic surgery so she would be unrecognizable and thus able to inflict terror a second time, she hijacked an El Al flight to New York, and was arrested.  She was later freed in a hostage exchange and has spent the years since being idolized as a feminist hero and the voice of a revolution.

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Google her name and what you’ll find is appalling. The articles from the leftist media and the adoration heaped on this woman amount to a complete whitewashing of Palestinian terror.

Jewish students on campus at San Francisco state should be horrified. The Palestinian people live impoverished lives under a regime that stones them to death for being gaypays them for killing Israelis and spends its money blasting rockets over the border to kill as many as possible. This is the regime Khaled is fighting for.

In the years since her release, she has never renounced the terror she inflicted on innocent others. Instead, she has been celebrated by liberal institutions for her beauty and fierce commitment to radicalism.

Her invitation comes in an environment of polarity we’ve rarely seen in America. Liberal institutions repeatedly silence conservative voices among their student bodies, and conservative speakers are disinvited from their campuses. Anti-semitism comes in the form of pro-Palestinian voices and this fact is rarely addressed or even acknowledged as a legitimate perspective.

Downplaying 9/11, or showing insensitivity to it by hosting a terrorist as we mark its anniversary, has become normalized. Remember when pro-Palestinian congresswoman, Rep. Ihan Omar, described 9/11 as “some people did something?”

This kind of anti-Semitism has got to stop. It’s time universities acknowledge the hate they breed and stop downplaying it as an effort toward “free speech.” If speech were truly free, students and speakers with opposing, non-liberal views would be tolerated and recognized. San Francisco State University should be ashamed of itself.

Ryan Fournier is the co-Chairman of Turning Point Action