A new report alleges that U.S. college groups have assisted a Palestinian terrorist organization in promoting its messaging.
According to a new report from the Clarion Project, a research organization established to expose extremist ideologies, U.S. campus organizations that claim to fight for the rights of Palestinians have assisted groups with direct links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist organization backed by the Iranian government.
PFLP is listed as a designated terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, the European Union, and Israel. Its stated goal is to destroy the State of Israel and remove Western capitalism from the Middle East.
According to the State Department, the PFLP is responsible for killing three Americans in Jerusalem in 2014 and more than 20 U.S. citizens in airplane hijackings in the 1960s and 1970s.
The PFLP operates internationally by establishing proxy groups that appear far less menacing, but have direct ties to terrorism. In 2018, the U.S. Treasury Department said that “in many cases, these organizations are fraudulent or sham charitable organizations; they are established with purported charitable aims but operate almost solely to facilitate terrorist financing or support for a terrorist group.”
Addameer, a group that has a presence on U.S. college compuses, is a non-governmental institution that works to support Palestinian political prisoners held in both Israel and Palestinian prisons. The organization’s activities include providing free legal representation for Palestinian prisoners and detainees — including convicted terrorists — and ensuring that prisoners have rights to medical assistance and education.
The Clarion Project’s report alleges that some of Addameer’s board members and staff are also connected to the PFLP. For example, the Director of Addameer, Sahar Francis, allegedly has close ties to Ahmad Saadat who was the PFLP’s Secretary-General before he was imprisoned by Israel for killing Israeli citizens and planning the assassination of the Israeli Tourism Minister, Rehavam Zeevi.
Under Addameer, Francis has traveled to U.S. college campuses to give lectures sponsored by campus organizations, including Jewish Voice for Peace and the Students for Justice in Palestine, both of which operate under the purview of progressive politics and have been criticized for alleged anti-Semitic agendas.
In 2013 and 2017, Addameer hosted a U.S. speaking tour for Francis. In 2013, she spoke at events hosted by the University of California-Irvine and San Francisco State University. Other stops included the Mosque Foundation in Chicago and stops in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Detroit.
During a short stint in the U.S., Francis spoke at Stanford University for an event hosted by the Students for Justice in Palestine.
In 2017, Francis’ speaking tour included a stop in Brooklyn, a stop in California at Moraine Valley College, and a stop in Atlanta at Emory University. The Emory University event was co-sponsored by the Jewish Voice for Peace organization and Students for Justice in Palestine.
Ryan Mauro, a fellow at the Clarion Project, told The Daily Wire that PFLP’s relationship with college campuses is frightening, especially because it presents itself as holding “progressive” and “liberal” values.
“[PFLP’s army of NGOs] are able to access the minds of our next leaders by coming to college campuses,” Mauro said. “This PFLP network should be seen as the very antithesis of ‘progressive’ and liberal values. Yet … these extremists’ strategy is assisted by so-called progressive activists in the name of civil liberties, interfaith dialogue, and humanitarianism.”