Rashida Tlaib’s enthusiastic participation in a terrorism pep rally this weekend serves as a reminder that her hatred of Jews and her admiration for political violence has no limiting principle.

Tlaib was the surprise guest speaker at the People’s Conference for Palestine, which was endorsed by and has ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The Marxist PFLP is a designated foreign terrorist organization, which is reason enough to denounce Tlaib’s collaboration with the conference. But the PFLP’s relevance to this particular moment in history is even more important.

The PFLP was created in the late 1960s and worked with other international terrorist groups abroad. Its most famous attack was its hijacking of an Air France passenger jet in 1976. The hijackers diverted the plane to Entebbe, Uganda, site of the incredible Israeli rescue mission during which Yonatan Netanyahu, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s brother, was killed.

Well before Entebbe, however, the PFLP split into two factions, with Ahmed Jibril leading the breakaway PFLP-General Command. It is no exaggeration to say that, more than any other single person, Ahmed Jibril is the reason for Palestinian terrorists’ continued focus on kidnapping and ransoming Israelis. In other words, though he died in 2021, the current conflict is the result of Jibril’s life work.

As I wrote in my March essay for COMMENTARY, Jibril got the Israelis in 1978 to back off of their initial one-to-one policy for prisoner swaps, which set the tone going forward for lopsided deals. In 1985, Jibril was responsible for what became known as the Jibril Agreement: He released three Israelis in return for Israel’s release of 1,150 Palestinians jailed in terrorism-related cases. Among those who were released: Ahmed Yassin, who would found Hamas a few years later.

Several of the prisoners would be integral to the first Palestinian intifada, launched soon after that agreement. Jibril would be as well, organizing a key attack in which armed terrorists used hang gliders (sound familiar?) to infiltrate Israel. The post-October 7 world is largely a world made by the PFLP and Hamas, the latter which exists thanks to the PFLP.

That is the background for Rashida Tlaib’s appearance at a conference with ties to the PFLP.

Even without that background, Tlaib’s appearance would have been grotesque. As the Jerusalem Post reports, PFLP activist Wisam Rafeedie was on the agenda as a workshop speaker. The conference keynote speaker was Sana Daqqah, the wife of the late PFLP terrorist Walid Daqqah, who led a cell that kidnapped, tortured, and then murdered Israeli Moshe Tamam in 1984. From the Jewish Chronicle: “Tamam’s killers gouged out his eyes, mutilated his body and castrated him before taking him to an olive grove and shooting him dead, according to reports at the time.”

The Jerusalem Post details the cheers heard around the room for Iran’s recent missile attack on Israel as well as praise for of other terrorists. One panel’s moderator said: “In the past eight months, we’ve seen incredible images of victory—from witnessing the families of political prisoners reunite with, and embrace their loved ones for the first time in years, to scenes of our heroic people breaking down the siege that has suffocated the Gaza Strip for 17 years.”

Speakers and panelists talked about their hope for the fall not only of Israel but of the United States as well. (The conference was held in Detroit.) “Today, through the Palestinian revolution, see clearly that there is no reforming the U.S. empire,” one said, describing pro-Palestinian activism as a “gateway struggle.” Another reportedly called to “defeat not only the mighty Israeli army, but U.S. imperialism itself.”

So what did Tlaib have to say amid all this? In her speech, she unsurprisingly repeated long-debunked libels about Israel’s supposed child murder and mass graves. She accused President Biden directly of being “an enabler” of genocide and described the United States as “co-conspirators.” She heaped praise on the pro-Hamas encampments and tried to racialize the conflict by attaching support for Hamas to Black Lives Matter. All in the service of explicitly throwing her support behind designated terrorist groups and the champions of October 7. Her appearance and endorsement was a declaration that the war on Israel and the American-led world order is her war, too.

She’ll have fellow Democrats standing by her after this, and the media will be divided between whitewashing her promotion of ethnic and racial violence and ignoring it completely. But note well all of the background mentioned above: That is what they will be defending.

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