A major road in Johannesburg, South Africa has been renamed “Leila Khaled Drive,” after the Palestinian terrorist that was among the hijackers of a TWA flight from Rome to Tel Aviv in 1969. The Johannesburg City Council last week adopted the motion devised by the ruling ANC to rename Sandton Drive after Khaled, formerly a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine who presently lives in Jordan. The ANC claimed that its decision was guided by a responsibility to stand in solidarity with Palestinians against “the oppressive state of Israel.” The move has caused outrage among the city’s 70,000-strong Jewish community, members of which view the step as an escalation of the government’s perceived hostile policies towards Israel. Local Jewish organizations described the ordeal “as extremely divisive, inflammatory and polarizing, [one that] detracts considerably from South African values of social cohesion and nation-building.” Notably, the United States consulate is located on the street in question.
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