Founding Member of Palestinian Terror Org Urges Americans To Attend Anti-Israel Conference in Michigan

‘Participation in this People’s Conference is crucial,’ says PFLP 'historic leader' Salah Salah

(Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images)
May 23, 2024

A founding member of the terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is urging Americans to attend an anti-Israel conference in Michigan this weekend, calling on "friends and supporters of our cause" to develop "a strategy for unified action" against "Zionist forces."

In a promotional video posted Sunday by the Palestinian Youth Movement—one of the "People's Conference for Palestine" organizers—PFLP founder Salah Salah thanked the group for "organizing unprecedented protests" against the "Zionist forces," which he accused of committing "heinous crimes and massacres" and likened to Nazis. The Jewish state's enemies, he said, should use the conference to establish "further coordination and an agreement on a strategy for unified action."

"It is a racist vitriol that offers a new model to Nazism, targeting children, women, the elderly, and the sick, and destroying public facilities, particularly hospitals and schools," Salah said of Israel. "Participation in this People's Conference is crucial on a large scale and on the highest level to set a plan that offers further coordination and an agreement on a strategy for unified action that guarantees continuity and consistency to achieve the goals and tasks posed by the conference."

Those "goals and tasks," according to the Palestinian Youth Movement and other conference organizers, include putting "all backers of Zionism, Israel, and US imperialism … on notice."

"The perpetrators of genocide and occupation have names and faces, and the masses of people around the world stand against them in the millions," the conference's website says. "This moment calls on us to strengthen our relationships, our strategies, our tactics, and our unity for the struggle ahead."

The terrorist-endorsed conference could provide a political headache for Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer and other Democrats in the state.

The event center hosting it, Detroit's Huntington Place, is controlled by the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority, a public entity led by government appointees. Whitmer appointee Claude Molinari chairs the authority, which sets the "broad policy direction and day to day operating procedures for Huntington Place." It also reserves the right to reject bids to do business at the center that it determines are misaligned with its "best interests."

Whitmer and the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority did not respond to requests for comment. Detroit mayor Mike Duggan, who also appointed one of the authority's board members, declined to comment.

Salah was "born in Tiberias in 1936 and by 1952 he had joined the Arab National Movement," according to Dar El-Nimer, a Lebanese nonprofit. In 1967, he "became a founding member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine."

The terror group itself lauded Salah as a "historic leader" in a 2014 press release, and when Salah spoke at a San Francisco State University event in 2022, the school's Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies department described him as "one of the founders of the Arab Nationalist Movement and the PFLP."

The conference's top organizer is the Palestinian Youth Movement, an anti-Israel organization that has organized protests blocking highways in major U.S. cities. The group, which did not return a request for comment, has used its Facebook page to share statements from Hamas and other terror groups. It called Salah a "Palestinian intellectual and revolutionary" in its Sunday tweet.

Other organizers include National Students for Justice in Palestine and the People's Forum, two anti-Israel groups that helped drive illegal encampment protests at Columbia University. Just hours before rioters stormed and occupied a building on the college's campus, the People's Forum held a meeting in New York City encouraging activists to re-create the violent protests of "the summer of 2020," the Washington Free Beacon reported.

The conference advertises an extensive speaker list featuring a who's who of anti-Semitic activists.

The keynote speaker is Sana' Daqqa, the wife of Walid Daqqa, a convicted terrorist who orchestrated the 1984 abduction, torture, and murder of Moshe Taman, a 19-year-old Israeli soldier.

Other speakers include former George Washington University professor Lara Sheehi—who endorsed Hamas’s Oct. 7 assault as "armed resistance" and allegedly discriminated against Jewish students—and Mustafa Barghouti, a former Palestinian information minister and distant cousin of intifada leader Marwan Barghouti. During an Oct. 8 CNN appearance, he defended Hamas’s terror attack on Israel, falsely claiming Hamas did not target civilians.

Several American professors will also be speaking at the conference, including the University of California, Los Angeles, professor Loubna Qutami, Brown University's Sherena Razek, the University of Rhode Island's Ashraf Hazayen, San Francisco State University's Rabab Abdulhadi and Rama Kased, and Michigan State University's Shireen Al-Adeimi.

Yale Law School's Students for Justice in Palestine chapter endorsed the event, as did anti-Semitic activist Linda Sarsour's MPower Change and the Westchester Peace Action Committee Foundation, which is facing a lawsuit that accuses the group of operating as a front for terrorists, the Free Beacon reported.