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Jewish leadership challenges politicians, but are themselves challenged to take action

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The antisemitic Hamas narrative was used to encourage BDS supporters in Toronto to “stand in solidarity with our #Palestinian brothers and sisters that continue to bravely resist brutal attacks by the “israeli” occupation forces on innocent worshippers at #AlAqsamosque, during #Ramadan. We cannot stand idly by while our people are subjected to violent settler attacks & vicious daily raids on our holy sites.” (Photo: gpm.21 Instagram)

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Antisemites in Toronto, donning their “anti-Israel” personas, held a BDS rally on April 24 as a prelude to the annual Al Quds Day hate-fest, practicing their Jew-hating chants and talking points for the planned April 30 march while police stood idly by.

Jaime Kirzner-Roberts described the livestream on Twitter: Speaker: As we march right now Lebanon has hit Israel with 2 rockets!  (Crowd cheers wildly) Speaker: Allahu Akbar! Crowd: Allahu Akbar!

The Jerusalem Post reported, “Organizers wore shirts emblazoned with “Intifada,” and led the crowd in chants calling for the violent uprising, saying “There is only one solution, intifada, revolution” and “Long live the Intifada — Intifada, Intifada.”

One speaker told the crowd assembled outside the Israeli Consulate, ““[Zionists] believe that there were two Jewish temples that used to stand there, and they want to build a third one. By the way, there’s no actual historical evidence of there ever being temples there, this is just Zionist propaganda they use to justify their atrocities.”

Among the chants noted by Michael Starr were: “Settlers, settlers go home, Palestine is our homel”, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, “with our soul, with our blood, we will redeem al-Aqsa”, and “We are not antisemitic, you all sound so pathetic.”

“In Toronto, Palestinians cheer for rocket attacks on Israeli civilians,” tweeted Thornhill MP Melissa Lantsman. “This is not a protest. This is full-on antisemitism in our streets.”

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“Al-Quds Day was created in 1979 by the Islamic Regime in Iran, and calls for the complete destruction of Israel. Al-Quds Day events in Canada have become a notorious forum for the promotion of antisemitism, terrorism and even calls for genocide,” B’nai Brith Canada noted.

Recalling that in 2018, Ontario Premier Doug Ford promised: “Our government will take action to ensure that events like Al Quds Day, which calls for the killing of an entire civilian population in Israel, are no longer part of the landscape in Ontario, ” CEO Michael Mostyn challenged Ford to back up his words with action.

“The Government of Ontario must fulfill its promise to take action against the noxious al-Quds Day,” said Mostyn. “There should be no right to engage in hateful speech or wave the flags of terrorist organizations on provincial property.” As for Tory, he added that “Municipal authorities also have a key role to play. The City of Toronto has a policy that explicitly prohibits the use of public space to promote hate or discrimination – why is this never enforced against al-Quds Day?”

On Tuesday night Toronto Mayor John Tory “had the pleasure of hosting a belated Passover dinner at city hall with rabbis and local residents from Toronto’s Jewish community”; on Monday night he held a similar gathering for Iftar with the Islamic Society of Toronto.

Tory has not commented on the BDS rally of Sunday or about the planned Al Duds Day march, or indicated that he dared address concerns about Islamists ramping up antisemitic incitement with the religious leaders he met with for the photo ops.

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Tory and Ford were sternly rebuked by a prominent Jewish advocate for ignoring his warnings (prior to the BDS event) about the upcoming Al Quds march.

“On April 19th I sent you a letter concerning the upcoming Al Quds Day event,” wrote Avi Benlolo of the Abraham Global Peace Initiative. “In that letter I noted that it is time for us to take action to preserve the safety and security of the Jewish community and our city and province. Not having satisfactorily heard back, I wrote a public editorial in the National Post publicizing my community’s mounting concern about our safety and security.”

“Unfortunately, my warning was not sufficiently heeded. Yesterday, pro-Palestinian rioters in downtown Toronto incited hate and violence against the Jewish community… We would not tolerate hatred against any other group- but for some reason, it seems to be okay when it’s against the Jewish community and Israel. This must stop.”

Benlolo warned Mayor Tory and Premier Ford: “If yesterday was a precursor to Saturday, we can anticipate worse. As an organization that promotes peace, we are extremely concerned that our streets are becoming war zones.”

The founder of the Abraham Global Peace Initiative, Avi Benlolo, wrote a scathing letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Toronto Mayor John Tory about how “Pro-Palestinian rioters celebrated terrorism in public places” on Sunday April 24. (Photo: Twitter)

Canadian Jewish leadership denounced the BDS rally but in the opinion of some community members, they continue to fall short of the vigilance required to counter the rising tide of open Jew-hate.

Retired Winnipeg lawyer and staunch Zionist Bill Narvey wrote to Mostyn, the CEO of CIJA Shimon Fogel, the Jewish Federation of Toronto and others, recommending direct actions to help protect Jews in Canada who are at risk:  

“You have noted only one of the several Jew-Israel hating groups that were in attendance and responsible for the hateful propaganda rhetoric, lines and lies and incitement to violence.  That is Samidoun – an organization with ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a Canadian-designated terrorist entity. 

Why not name all organizations in attendance as well as their leaders names, activist identities and bios if you have them or what you can find by investigating further, so we all can know better just what these organizations are about, what activism they engage in, what locales do they choose, what indications exist as to just how large these organizations are, how many members, how broad is their reach and appeal and what other anti-Israel-antisemitic organizations they are affiliated with?” 

Narvey observed, “I gather from what you report that the anti-Israelism crossed deep into the IHRA antisemitism definition and may well have included historical antisemitic rhetoric as well” and he also raised the “Emergency Summit” held with Antisemitism Special Envoy Irwin Cotler last July. 

Mayor John Tory is being challenged to prevent the Iran-inspired Al Quds Day march from taking place on April 30 in downtown Toronto. (Photo: Twitter)

Narvey suggested the Jewish leadership take specific steps immediately.

Call on PM Trudeau to designate Samidoun to at least be on a terror watch list given that it has ties to PFLP which is listed by Canada as a designated terrorist entity… Call on PM Trudeau and pertinent Ministers of the Federal Government to publicly call out by name Samidoun and the other Jew-Israel hating bigoted organizations that participated in the rally as being antisemitic whose antisemitic views, words and deeds are bigotry pure and simple and antithetical to our Canadian values and norms; Call on (Ford and Tory) to similarly publicly call out those anti-Israel-antisemitic rally organizers by name as being bigoted anti-Semites… (and) lobby the Toronto City Council and City Hall Permit Department… to hereafter refuse to grant anti-Israel rally permits to these organizations… Refusing to grant an assembly rally permit to these antisemitic organizations is a sure way to keep antisemitism off our Canadian streets and anywhere else in Canada.”

“In so lobbying, remind them that our PM Trudeau, doubtless Mayor Tory and many others in Federal, provincial or municipal government have stated unequivocally that antisemitism has no place on the Canadian streets or anywhere in Canada.”

In observance of Yom Hashoah, Conservative leader Candice Bergen stated, “Too often, Canadians have seen synagogues defaced with swastikas, or heard anti-Semitic insults levelled at our Jewish neighbours. As we mourn the millions of lives stolen by the Holocaust, I urge all Canadians to remain vigilant, and stamp out anti-Semitism when they see it, so that this hatred is never again allowed to take root. We must continually reject racism and condemn acts of prejudice wherever they occur.”

Ford and Tory, who nominally share the ‘conservative’ political label with Bergen, now face the enormous challenge to meet the standard that Bergen and her federal CPC caucus has set out.

Marty Gold is the Editor-in -Chief of TheJ.ca. Known for investigative reporting, he has specialized in covering municipal and provincial politics, and a wide range of sports and entertainment, in newspapers, magazines, online, and on his first love, radio. His business and consulting experience includes live events and sales, workplace safety, documentary productions, PR, and telecommunications in Vancouver, Los Angeles and across Canada, and as a contestant on CBC-TV Dragons Den.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

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