Hilton cancels upcoming campaign for Palestinian rights conference due to security concerns

Chaz Miller Image
Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Hilton cites 'security concerns' in canceling Palestinian rights forum
A Galleria-area hotel cited "escalating security concerns" for canceling an upcoming US campaign for Palestinian rights.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Hilton canceled an upcoming conference put on by the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights in Houston.

The event, announced months before the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, was supposed to take place at the Galleria-area hotel on Post Oak Boulevard from Oct. 27 through Oct. 29 but was canceled due to safety concerns, per a hotel spokesperson.

"Hilton Houston Post Oak by the Galleria serves as a place of public accommodation and does not endorse the positions of third-party groups or organizations. The safety and security of our team members and guests is our top priority," a statement read. "Given escalating security concerns in the current environment, the hotel has determined that it cannot serve as the venue for this event because of the potential risks to our team members and guests."

Gov. Greg Abbott posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, to applaud the hotel's decision.

"Hilton Hotels in Houston was correct to pull the plug on the U.S. Campaign for Palestine Rights event hosted by Hamas supporters," he wrote.

Omar Rahman, a fellow at the Middle East Council on Global Affairs and a non-fellow at Rice University's Baker Institute, emphasized that being pro-Palestinian and pro-Hamas are two different things.

"As I understand, they're American citizens advocating on behalf of better policies regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as far as they see it," he said of the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights. "I think that false equivalence by the governor is dangerous and reckless."

The issue of the cancellation came up at Houston City Council Wednesday morning. While the city has nothing to do with the convention or the hotel, District C Councilwoman Abbie Kamin said they are being vigilant when it comes to any local events involving the Middle East.

"HPD is not only deploying additional assets to sensitive locations, they are working very closely with our state and national partners monitoring the situation," Kamin said. "We have no credible threats at this time, and I want to emphasize that."

The U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights responded to the cancellation via a Facebook post late Wednesday afternoon.

"The breach by Hilton is clearly an act of ethnic, racial, and religious discrimination," part of the statement read.

For news updates, follow Chaz Miller on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.