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Jun-13-2018 21:52printcomments

Al Quds Toronto Committee Rejects Accusations Made By Pro-Apartheid Lobby Group

Lobby group B’nai Brith Canada level unfounded accusations against rally organizers

Al Quds Toronto
Thousands of peaceful people attended Toronto Al Quds Day Rally 2018 from Queens Park to US Consulate General.

(TORONTO) - On behalf of the thousands of peaceful, conscientious Canadians who participated on June 9 in the Al Quds Day rally in Toronto, the Al Quds Toronto Committee categorically rejects the accusations leveled against the rally’s organizers and participants by pro-apartheid lobby group, B’nai Brith Canada.

B’nai Brith Canada has issued false and inflammatory accusations against the rally’s organizers and participants. Ontario’s Premier-elect, Doug Ford, has faithfully repeated those falsehoods, apparently without conducting any investigation into their truth or falsehood.

On June 7, 2018, the organizers of the rally issued a statement of principles which reiterated our opposition to all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism, and our commitment to the peaceful resolution of conflicts.

We repeated these principles at the outset of the rally. Our speakers also stressed the importance of these principles. B’nai Brith has studiously ignored our unqualified commitment to anti-racism and non-violence.

Our rally included citizens of diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds, including our brothers and sisters in the Jewish community. B’nai Brith has studiously ignored the participation of our Jewish brothers and sisters in the rally.

Above all, B’nai Brith has ignored Israel’s egregious violations of Palestinian human rights, all of which have been documented by mainstream human rights organizations like Amnesty International, U.S.-based Human Rights Watch and Israel-based B’Tselem:

  1. The torture of Palestinian children by Israeli police and military forces;
  2. The Israeli military’s shooting of thousands of unarmed civilians in Gaza during the recent Great March of Return. The IDF’s victims included Canadian doctor Tarek Loubani, 21-year old nurse Razan Al-Najjar, who was shot in the back by an Israeli sniper as she attempted to assist an unarmed civilian, journalists and disabled persons;
  3. Israel’s illegal annexation of East Jerusalem;
  4. Israel’s illegal settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territories, which constitute a war crime; and
  5. Israel’s collective punishment of innocent Palestinians, including the 1 million Palestinian children living in Gaza, which has been rendered unlivable, according to the United Nations, due to Israel’s inhuman and illegal blockade of Gaza.

As documented recently by international legal scholar Richard Falk, who is Jewish-American, the evidence that Israel has imposed an apartheid regime on Palestinians is “overwhelming”.

Apartheid is a crime against humanity and is surpassed in gravity only by the crime of genocide.

B’nai Brith has focused its attacks on a speech delivered at the rally by Sheikh Shafiq Huda of the Islamic Humanitarian Service in Kitchener, Ontario. In smearing him, B’nai Brith refuses to acknowledge the distinction between Israel’s citizens (20% of whom are Palestinian) and the Israeli government’s system of subjugating and humiliating Palestinians.

It is that regime which Sheikh Shafiq Shuda urged Canadians to oppose and eradicate. The claim that he called for the eradication of Israel’s citizens is baseless and false.

B’nai Brith equates demanding an end to the regime that commits these atrocities with demanding the eradication of Israeli citizens. B’nai Brith’s equation is unconscionable.

Additionally, we are deeply troubled by the Premier-elect’s blind reliance on a source that has been completely discredited. B’nai Brith Canada has proven itself to be a relentless fabricator of fake news.

Only days before the Al Quds rally, B’Nai Brith claimed that a photograph calling for the destruction of Israel had been taken at the Toronto Al Quds rally in 2016.

In fact, the photograph was taken at a rally in the United Kingdom in 2011. When this fact was revealed, B’nai Brith deleted its tweets of the photograph without apologizing for its false claim.

Similarly, and as reported by the Toronto Star in 2017, B’nai Birth recently used a doctored and mistranslated video to smear Toronto Imam Ayman Elkasrawy. And in 2013, B’nai Brith retracted its false accusation that Liberal candidate Lesley Hughes is antisemitic after Ms. Hughes sued B’nai Brith for libel.

Not only has Premier-elect Ford relied on a discredited source to attack the Al Quds rally organizers and participants, but he has unambiguously threatened to ensure that Al Quds is “no longer part of landscape in Ontario.”

During the election campaign, Doug Ford stated that he wanted to use government funding to promote free speech on university campuses. Apparently, free speech matters to Mr. Ford only when he agrees with the speaker.

We assure Mr. Ford that the Al Quds committee will vigorously defend our supporters’ free speech rights and their right of free assembly in the courts of Ontario, not only for the benefit of the long-suffering Palestinian people, but for the benefit of all Canadians.

Source: Counsel for the Al Quds Toronto Committee

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