(July 22, 2019 / JNS) Israel has condemned the European Parliament for recently inviting a Palestinian terrorist to speak at the venue, and is urging the European Union to take steps to prevent members of designated terror groups from doing so in the future.
In a letter to European Parliament president David Sassoli, Israel’s minister of strategic affairs Gilan Erdan expressed his “dismay” that Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) member Khaled Barakat, who also serves in the BDS-promoting NGO “Samidoun” was invited to speak to the parliament by Spanish MEP Manu Pineda.
“Barakat, a PFLP Central Committee member was recently prohibited by German authorities from speaking at a political event due to his ties to terror … and the European Parliament must not be used as a platform for members of murderous terrorist organizations,” wrote Erdan.
PFLP is considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia and the European Union.
Barakat, who was joined by Mohammed Khatib—the European coordinator for Samidoun—were prominently featured in the Ministry of Strategic Affairs recent report “Terrorists in Suits,” which revealed the close ties shared between the BDS movement, and the terrorist groups Hamas and the PFLP.
Erdan also urged the European Parliament to urgently “put in place a robust system to ensure that members of designated terrorist organizations such as the PFLP are not allowed to enter the European Parliament in the future. Such unfortunate occurrences must not be allowed to repeat themselves. The European Parliament must never be a platform for terrorists.”
This was not the first time an E.U.-designated terrorist group member spoke at the European Parliament, with the PFLP operative and former airplane hijacker Leila Khaled doing so in 2017. Following the incident, and after being contacted by Erdan, former president of the E.U. Parliament Antonio Tajani declared he would work “to systematically deny access to all individuals” linked to terror from speaking.