Jewish lawmakers harshly condemned two Israeli Arab lawmakers who traveled to Jordan Monday to attend the funeral of George Habash, founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization. Habash, 83, died Saturday at his home in Amman following an angioplasty earlier in the week.
Referred to by TIME magazine as the “Christian Terrorist Godfather, was a Greek Orthodox Christian, Habash’s PFLP carried out a murderous attack at Ben Gurion Airport in 1972 with Japanese Red Army terrorists, leaving 24 people dead.
The PFLP was also responsible for the 1976 hijacking of an Air France plane that was forced to land in Entebbe, Uganda. Israeli commandos rescued 100 passengers being held hostage by terrorists in a daring raid that inspired a movie and stories of heroism recounted in the generations that followed..
United Arab List-Ta’al Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi and Balad party Knesset Member Jamal Zahalka traveled to Amman with other members of Zahalka’s party for the ceremony.
A number of Jewish Knesset Members slammed the two Arab Knesset Members for going to honor Habash, a vicious terrorist who devoted his entire career to murdering Jewish men, women and children.
National Union Knesset Member Tzvi Hendel congratulated Tibi and Zahalka for attending Habash’s funeral – on condition they do not return to Israel. “Knesset Members who openly mourn and support one of the worst terrorists of our generation” need to be thrown out of the Knesset,” he said.
Yisrael Beiteinu Knesset Member Esterina Tartman also slammed the two Arab lawmakers. The “Israeli Arab MKs show contempt for the State of Israel; they believe in murder, in the destruction of the State of Israel and the obliteration of the Jewish People,” she charged.
Tibi and his party members first traveled to Ramallah Sunday to offer their condolences to Palestinian Authority Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.
“He was one of the most prominent leaders of the PLO and always fought for independence,” Tibi said, adding that although Habash often disagreed with PLO founder Yasser Arafat, the two men deeply respected each other.
Arafat co-founded the Fatah terrorist organization with Abbas in 1969, heading the group, and its parent organization, the PLO until his death in 2004, when Abbas inherited the position.
Zahalka has often declared his support for the position of enemy nations claiming that Israel has no right to be in Jerusalem, referring to the Old City as “occupied” and to its Jewish residents as “right-wing settlers.” Zahalka also told Syrian government radio in Damascus last year, “We don’t see Syria as an enemy state.”
Speaking last year at an event to honor the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the PFLP terror group, Zahalka told participants that Israeli Arabs “refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish country.”
He added that “[Israel] demands this (recognition as a Jewish state) in order to gain legitimacy to expel our people and to steal the rights of the Palestinian people ‘on the inside’... The various factions must work together. We must protect national Palestinian unity, because it is the most important thing we have.”