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The Trudeau Government’s Fake Fight Against Antisemitism- Part 33

Inquiries from B’nai Brith, FSWC ignored by controversial Liberal MP Salma Zahid

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Liberal MP for Scarborough Centre, Salma Zahid, has a troubling history of associating with radicals who make antisemitic statements. (photo: @SalmaZahid15) 

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Antisemitic allegations, actions and undercurrents in the House of Commons and beyond (8)

B’nai Brith Canada (“BBC”)

On December 2, 2022, BBC issued the following statement: “(Liberal MP Salma) Zahid owes it to the public to better explain through what channels Khatatba gained access to the event on Parliament Hill. Zahid must commit her Friendship Group to end all association with those who distort the Holocaust and pursue antisemitic agendas. If Zahid is unable to do the bare minimum and disavow Holocaust –distorting media attending her Friendship Group events, we consider her unqualified to serve as Chair”. Darren Major, Attendance of man accused of antisemitism at Hill event sparks outcry from MPs, Jewish groups, CBC, December 2, 2022.

BBC further stated: “Considering her ongoing history of association with Khatatba, Zahid has a special obligation, particularly in her capacity as chair of the [C-PPFG] to reject Meshwar Media and its publisher by name”. 

Zahid’s defence

“[On December 1] upon learning about Khatatba’s attendance, Zahid issued a statement which read:  “I have long been a voice against antisemitism, and all forces of discrimination based on faith. In 2016, I spoke in the House of Commons to condemn several recent antisemitic incidents, and antisemitism in general. I have long been a voice against antisemitism, and all forces of discrimination based on faith. In 2016, at the House of Commons to condemn several recent antisemitic incidents, and antisemitism. I continue to oppose and condemn any and all incidents and comments of antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination based on faith.” David Akin, MPs condemn controversial publisher at Parliament Hill reception, Global News, December 1, 2022. At one point she also stated that she supported Canada’s two-state formula without providing her specifications for this formula.

“Incidents based on faith”. Clever wording. It leaves out antisemitism based on every other imaginary pretext. Nor for that matter does she oppose incidents of hate triggered by anti-Zionism which also happen to be antisemitic.   

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Zahid further stated that the invitation to the event was circulated widely within the Palestinian community and nearly 150 attended the event. Later on, Zahid indicated that the invitation to the event was circulated through the Coalition of Palestinian Organizations. The coalition in turn distributed the open-ended invite, asking those interested in attending to simply submit their name to her office. David, Akin, supra

Zahid conceded that through the manner the invitations were circulated, they became “an open invitation”. She further stated that she and her colleagues who organised the event did not have time to go through the list to check on the personal  history of  some 150 invitees whose names were deposited at Zahid’s office.

Surely, neither Zahid nor those who assisted for the event needed to do any research of the personal histories of Khatatba and Mahmoud Khalil of Montreal. All they had to do is take 5 to 10 minutes, maximum to go through the list. Zahid’s spokesman Jeff Jedras, stated that ”Neither [Zahir’s] office nor the parliamentary group invited Khatatba”, but added “we will certainly review carefully how we handle future events with outside attendees”.

B’nai Brith Canada appealed to Zahid “to disavow unsavoury haters who were somehow invited to this event. Unfortunately, the Jewish community has instead been met with her silence. We reiterate our appeal in the strongest of terms.”

On December 2, 2022 B’nai Brith called, yet again, on Zahid to more firmly distance herself from Khatatba and his publication: “Salma Zahid has a special obligation, particularly in her capacity as chair of the Canada-Palestine Parliamentary Friendship group to reject Meshwar Media and its publisher by name”. Stephanie Taylor, Canada-Palestine MP group vows review after accused ‘Holocaust denier’ attended event, Toronto Star December 2, 2022. Needless to say, once again, she did not do that then or at any time since. Instead, her spokesman Jedras responded that Zahid’s office had nothing more to add. Stephanie Taylor, supra

The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies said it also reached out to Zahid seeking an explanation Stephanie Taylor, supra. It received no reply.

Irwin Cotler, the Prime Minister’s special envoy on preserving Holocaust remembrance and combatting antisemitism stated: “It is as ignorant as it is repugnant to have a Holocaust denier at a parliamentary gathering. This hate has no place in Canada or anywhere else-and certainly not on Parliament Hill.” Marie Woolf, Minister and MPs attended parliamentary reception with Holocaust denier, Globe and Mail, Dec.1 and 2, 2022

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Mahmoud Khalil

If the matter at hand was not already bad enough, a week later, B’nai Brith  uncovered the fact that the event was also attended by Khalil of Montreal who has posted several offensive items on social media including that called for Let’s have a German  superhero named Auschwitz. He also participated in a mock funeral during the summer of 2022 that celebrated the Intifada which killed thousands of innocent Israelis, including those of Palestinian backgrounds. B’nai Brith Advocacy, December 7, 2022

At the end of the day

Zahid and her Parliamentary group have to answer B’nai Brith’s question: What is it about this group that attracts these types of individuals and is attracted by them?

And where was Khatatba in all of this? In an e-mail he wrote: “no one has the right to accuse us of anti-Semitism, because we are Semites from the roots and we have never attacked Jews in Canada or any other country in our newspaper. Rather, we criticize the Israeli occupation and stand by the Palestinian People and their legitimate rights…With regard to the Holocaust, we do not deny it, and we have no interest in that”. Maria Woolf, supra.

Khatatba as to be expected, closed by stating that “the organizations who accuse him of being antisemitic are working to suppress freedom of opinion and expression in Canada related to different views on the Middle East conflict”.

The first problem: The federal government

Shimon Koffler Fogel, president of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (“CIJA”) conclusion about this affair goes to the root of the problem with the federal government. “Khatatba’s presence at the reception follows other instances of the federal government failing to avoid involvement with people who have expressed antisemitic views. It’s disappointing and difficult to understand how these failures of vetting continually occur, and now  we have yet  another incident that sends a troubling message to the Canadian Jewish community”. Maria Woolf, supra.

The advocacy group Documenting Antisemitism Canada (DAC) stated: “Khatatba’s presence on Parliament Hill speaks to the growing normalization of antisemitism in Canadian politics…We must hold our political leaders accountable for their tolerance of this hatred”. Dion Pierre, Canadas New Democratic Party Denies It Invited Holocaust Denying Journalist to Event, December 2, 2022

If the reader questions the validity of this statement concerning the Federal government, I invite her or him to carry on to Part 34 for illustrative validations.

Terrorist supporters are plastering pictures all around the Al Aqsa Mosque praising the terrorist who murdered Jews in a Jerusalem synagogue on Shabbat. Would the Trudeau government consider this hate speech, or acceptable political discourse? (Photo: antisemitism.org)

The second problem: Freedom of Speech, Failing law enforcement; Criminal Code provisions and the decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada

Through the years, several complaints were filed against Khatatba/ al-Meshwar with police hate crime units due to the repeated publication of antisemitic content. 

Having regard to the absence of any charges being laid, it must be concluded that freedom of speech read in tandem of the provisions of the Criminal Code, failing law enforcement and the decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada have almost normalised antisemitic hate. 

I propose to examine these matters in the concluding Parts which will address the grounds on which Trudeau’s fight against antisemitism, and for that matter, against all hate crimes is a fake one.

Doğan D. Akman is an independent researcher and commentator. He holds a B.Sc. in sociology, an M.A. in sociology/criminology and an LL.B in law. He held academic appointments in sociology, criminology and social policy; served as a Judge of the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, and occupied the positions of Crown Counsel in criminal prosecutions and in civil litigation at the Federal Department of Justice. His academic work is published in peer-reviewed professional journals, while his opinion pieces and other writings are to be found in various publications and in blogs.  

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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.

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