“The primary purpose of the visit was to offer Mr. Barakat the opportunity to address a meeting in Parliament on Palestine-related matters,” communications official Kyriakos Klosidis told United with Israel.
The European Parliament is defending the opportunity it gave to a terror supporter to address the body earlier this month at the invitation of Spanish lawmaker Manu Pineda, a pro-BDS activist.
The speaker, Khaled Barakat, is a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a terrorist organization that is banned throughout much of the world, including the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and, ironically, the European Union.
United With Israel (UWI) issued a call to action against the European Parliament earlier this week, noting several terror attacks for which the PFLP has proudly claimed responsibility.
The UWI call to action suggested that readers contact Kyriakos Klosidis, who is listed on the European Parliament website as the press officer to David Maria Sassoli, president of the parliament (see snapshot below).
After apparently being bombarded with messages as a result of the call to action, Klosidis, who identified himself as Directorate-General for Communication, emailed United with Israel, saying, “I am not President Sassoli’s press officer as stated on your website.”
In his email to UWI, Klosidis said that any further queries should be sent to “President Sassoli’s actual press officer, Mr Roberto Cuillo ([email protected]).” He also suggested contacting [email protected].
As for the invitation to Barakat to address the body, Klosidis wrote:
“All MEPs and political groups can invite individuals and organisations for meetings in the European Parliament. Access to Parliament is provided in this context in accordance with the relevant rules, which are based on Parliament’s Bureau decision of 2 October 2017 to systematically deny access to all persons, groups, or entities involved in terrorist acts, as covered by Articles 2, 3, and 4 of Common Position 2001/931/CFSP.
“In view of that decision, and in the context of combatting terrorism, MEPs and political groups are requested not to invite persons listed in the Council Decision or individuals representing entities or groups on that list, nor to facilitate their access to Parliament.
“In addition, these persons, entities, and groups may not be promoted through audio-visual presentations or other events on Parliament’s premises.
“Accordingly,” he continued, “Mr Barakat and Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, are not amongst the persons or groups and entities covered by these provisions. Further, Mr Barakat did not enter Parliament’s premises as a representative of the Popular Front For the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), nor did he speak on behalf of this group. The PFLP was not mentioned nor promoted during the event.
“The primary purpose of the visit was to offer Mr Barakat the opportunity to address a meeting in Parliament on Palestine-related matters, and oppose the speaking ban imposed upon Mr Barakat by German authorities in June 2019,” he concluded.
UWI responded to Klosidis’s email, noting his reference to the “Parliament’s Bureau decision of 2 October 2017 to systematically deny access to all persons, groups, or entities involved in terrorist acts.”
That said, UWI asked, is it not irrelevant that Barakat did not enter Parliament as a PFLP representative, considering that he has indeed been involved in acts of terror?
In response, Klosidis wrote: “Neither him [Barakat] nor the other two visitors are amongst the list of persons subject to Articles 2, 3, and 4 of Common Position 2001/931/CFSP on the application of specific measures to combat terrorism. Similarly, Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, is not amongst the groups and entities covered by the same provisions.”
That response may be difficult to comprehend, considering, for example, that according to the Common Position, “’persons, groups and entities involved in terrorist acts’ shall mean: persons who commit, or attempt to commit, terrorist acts or who participate in, or facilitate, the commission of terrorist acts.” A report published in February by Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy (MSA) features Barakat prominently as, it appears, a faciliator of terror.
Barakat’s Terror Links Not a Secret
The MSA report, titled “Terrorists in Suits”, reveals over 100 links shared between the internationally designated terrorist organizations Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) with at least 13 anti-Israel BDS promoting NGOs, including Samidoun, which it describes as a “leading promoter of BDS” whose “mission is focused on pressing for the release of Palestinians arrested for their ties to terrorism and particularly to the PFLP terrorist organization.”
According to the MSA report, “Barakat is presented on the Samidoun website and in the English-language media in general as a Palestinian writer and activist, while in Arabic he is directly associated with the PFLP Central Committee.”
“Khaled Barakat, a PFLP Central Committee member in Lebanon, arranged for [terrorist Mustapha] Awad to begin his military training in 2015 in Lebanon with Hezbollah, a terrorist organization designated by in the USA, Canada and the Arab League (excluding Lebanon and Iraq), the Netherlands and Japan,” the report says.
Furthermore, “Khaled Barakat, a member of the PFLP, is married to Samidoun’s International Coordinator, Charlotte Kates. Kates, a senior representative of the Samidoun NGO, and Barakat, a senior representative of a terrorist organization, manage campaigns together and appear together at conferences. Barakat, as mentioned, is a Central Committee member of the PFLP and the Solidarity Campaign Coordinator for the release of PFLP General Secretary – Ahmad Sa’adat, one of the planners of the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi.
“The PFLP campaign website uses elements identical to those on the Samidoun website,” the report continues. “In light of this, and in light of his connection with Charlotte Kates, it is likely that donations made through the Samidoun website benefitted Barakat and the PFLP,” the report says.
“Barakat posted on his Facebook page (November 5th, 2018) a video clip of the terrorist who murdered two Israelis in October 2018 and was eventually killed in a firefight with security forces in December 2018,” the report notes.
According to Klosidis, Barakat addressed a meeting in Parliament “on Palestine-related matters.” One can only guess what his objective was.
United with Israel urges its readers to continue demanding that the European Parliament stop providing a platform for terror-promoting persons.