Erdan urged for “a robust system to be set in place to ensure members of designated terrorist groups will not be allowed to enter the European Parliament in the future.”
By Aryeh Savir, TPS
Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan slammed the European Parliament for becoming “a platform for terrorists” after terrorist Khaled Barakat of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) gave a speech at its plenum earlier this month.
In a letter sent to President of the European Parliament David Maria Sassoli, Erdan expressed his dismay that Barakat was invited to the European Parliament and that he addressed it.
The PFLP was designated a terrorist group by the European Union, the US, Canada, and Israel.
Barakat, who also serves with Samidoun, an anti-Israel organization that promotes boycotts on the Jewish state, was invited to parliament by Spanish MEP Manu Pineda.
In the letter, Erdan urged for “a robust system to be set in place to ensure members of designated terrorist groups will not be allowed to enter the European Parliament in the future.”
Barakat was joined by Mohammed Khatib, the European Coordinator for Samidoun. Both Barakat and Khatib were prominently featured in the Ministry of Strategic Affairs February report “Terrorists in Suits” which revealed the close ties shared between the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement and the Hamas and the PFLP terrorist groups.
Erdan further urged Sassoli to consider condemning “the exploitation of the parliament’s platform by terror-linked operatives,” and pointed out that Pineda has expressed his support in the past for the PFLP and knew about Barakat’s connections to the terrorist group.
Barakat told the EU parliament that “the BDS is a movement that is important to us, and it is important to note that the Israeli government ministry that fought us in Europe is the Ministry for Strategic Affairs under the leadership of the racist and right-wing Israeli minister Gilad Erdan.”
This was not the first time an EU-designated terrorist group member spoke at the European Parliament. In 2017, PFLP operative and former airplane hijacker Leila Khaled spoke at the there. Following the incident, and after being contacted by Erdan, former President of the EU Parliament Antonio Tajani declared he would work “to systematically deny access to all individuals” linked to terror from speaking at the EU Parliament.
In his letter to Sassoli, Minister Erdan said that “such unfortunate occurrences must not be allowed to repeat themselves. The European Parliament must never be a platform for terrorists.”
‘Terrorists in Suits’
The recently released report by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, “Terrorists in Suits”, revealed over 100 ties were found between terrorist operatives and BDS organizations.
Barakat was included in the report for his roles in recruiting terrorist operatives, transferring terror funds from Lebanon to Belgium, and helping PFLP members receive training from the Iranian-backed terror group Hezbollah.
As part of the political campaign led by Erdan, the report’s findings were sent to the German Minister of Interior Horst Seehofer with a request to take action against operatives and organizations mentioned in the report. German authorities in June announced that Barakat’s visa would not be renewed and that all of his political activities in the country were banned.
Erdan stressed in the missive that “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.”