Militant Turn For Palestine House; Will Pressure Trudeau And Scheer To Enforce BDS Against Israel
The takeover of a controversial Mississauga nonprofit organization "that works for the betterment of Palestinian Canadians" will "take the Palestine House in a different direction", putting BDS as ther centerpiece of lobbying efforts on the federal government to turn against Israel. A recent election reportedly resulted in a slate backed by "the “al-Quds bloc,” supported by the Democratic Front for the Popular Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), defeating "a rival slate supported by Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) ... The PFLP is a designated terrorist entity in Canada, while Fatah is the party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and is not.”
As reported by Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi on CanadaDoc.org, the previous regime was accused of "work(ing) for the interest of the Palestinian elites who just want to integrate with the Canadian liberal elite of this country".
New Board member Hammah Farah stated "We have withstood pressures within the Palestinian community to separate Palestinian culture from Palestinian politics ... we are going to fight it. We are going to struggle against it and we are going to [unintelligible] and assert that the Palestinian struggle is intertwined with our culture."
Central to the philosophy of Palestine House moving forward, he said, was that "Canadian politicians are standing with Israeli apartheid. [Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau and obviously Andrew Scheer [Leader of the Conservative Party] have stood with [Israel’s prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government. And so we have to do our part to pressure them to change direction and to say yes to boycott..."
Farah was subject to a trespassing order at York University in 2013 after his Students Against Israeli Apartheid chapter committed a “disruption of academic activities” in celebrations of their campaign that saw the York University Graduate Students’ Association and the York Federation of Students pass pro-BDS resolutions.
Federal funding was halted to the facility in 2012 because of a “pattern of support for extremism,” according to a letter sent at the time by then Minister for Multiculturalism Jason Kenney.
In 2018, Liberal MP Iqra Khalid (Mississauga-Erin Mills MP) was forced to recind a volunteer appreciation award given to the public relations chief of Palestine House Amin El-Maoued after learning from B'nai Brith Canada petition of his role in leading a July 2017 rally with chants of anti-Semitic slogans and "Israel and Hitler are the same." She said, "I will have more thorough due diligence in the future in the allocation of these certificates and I apologize for this mistake." During a previous award ceremony recognizing him, Khalid had described El-Maoued as her "rock" and a "strong ally for myself, for the Palestinian community within Mississauga."
In an email sent to B’nai Brith, incoming PCCC President Ahmad Kais denied his slate was backed by the DFLP (“just rumours belong to deshonest people”), and claimed an upcoming bylaw would prohibit members from being “involved in any political party or any political activities.”
The bulk of Hammah Farah's speech is reproduced below:
"…Palestinians were expelled from their homeland in order to create the State of Israel in 1948. This is our national tragedy... UN resolution 194 stipulates that refugees who leave at a time of war have the right to return to their homes after the war is over. Unfortunately, when Israel expelled the Palestinian people from their homeland they didn’t allow them the right to return, and this is why the Palestinian – Israeli conflict has been ongoing to this day.
We’re calling on everybody to recognize the Palestinian Catastrophe. It’s our national tragedy. We’re holding on to it. And we are going to say, because the world delays in holding Israel accountable for its crimes, we have a right to boycott Israel. We have a right to boycott, call for divestment and call for sanctions against Israel until Israel complies with its obligations under the international law.
... To this day Canadian politicians are standing with Israeli apartheid.Justin Trudeau and obviously Andrew Scheer have stood with [Israel’s prime minister] Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli government. And so we have to do our part to pressure them to change direction and to say yes to boycott, yes to hold Israel accountable until Israel fulfills its responsibilities under the international law.
Now I want to add to this that I’m very proud, very proud to be here today because the Palestine House, which is the Palestinian Canadian Community Centre in Mississauga [Ontario], just recently had its elections and it was unprecedented elections with 70% voter turnout of the Palestinian community in the GTA [Greater Toronto Area].
I was elected to the board, and I have to say that we have a good group of progressive individuals from the Palestinian community who were elected to the board, and we are going to take the Palestine House in a different direction... the Palestinian struggle is intertwined with our culture. The olive tree and the dabke [Palestinian folk dance] are political. And we are going to be here, and we are going to organize the Palestinian Canadian community, and we are going to serve the Palestinian community, especially the disadvantaged people of our community, the workers, students and those who are fighting to survive and to make their needs in Canada.
We will fight for them. We are going to be a voice for them and we are going to take control from the elites, from those who work for the interest of the Palestinian elites who just want to integrate with the Canadian liberal elite of this country. We are going to resist that. We’re going to take our struggle back and we gonna say Palestine is going to be free when we continue to fight for Palestinian rights in Canada. So join me in saying boycott, divestment, sanctions, we are here to stay and we are going to fight for it. Free free Palestine."
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