Jan. 19, 2022
VANCOUVER and MONTREAL – B’nai Brith Canada is disturbed that just one week after a gunman took hostages in a Texas synagogue in a bid to release a terrorist from a U.S. jail, rallies are scheduled for two Canadian cities to demand the release of terrorists who have murdered Jews.
In Vancouver, five groups have announced a “Protest and Postering” event for Saturday afternoon at Commercial-Broadway SkyTrain Station to demand “Freedom for Ahmad Sa’adat.” Sa’adat is the General-Secretary of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – a designated terrorist entity in Canada – and is serving a 30-year sentence in Israeli jail for ordering numerous terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings and the assassination of the Israeli Tourism Minister in 2001. Sa’adat is so notorious that he was originally arrested and tried by the Palestinian Authority, not Israel.
On Sunday, outside the Israeli Consulate in Montreal, a similar rally is planned where protesters are advocating not only for the release of Sa’adat, but also of Nasser Abu Hamid. The latter is serving multiple life sentences for murdering nine Israelis during the First Intifada, before being released from prison as part of the Oslo Accords, and murdering a further seven after that. B’nai Brith has reported this weekend’s planned rallies to police in both Vancouver and Montreal.
“These organized events are a deliberate and callous attempt to foster hate towards the Jewish community by glorifying bloodthirsty and brutal murderers,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “Many members of our community no longer feel safe in our synagogues, and these rallies may undermine a sense of security on the streets of our cities as well.
“Murdering Jews is a crime, and those who do so deserve to rot in jail. Any attempt to suggest otherwise is antisemitism, plain and simple.”
Last Saturday, Malik Faisal Akram held four people hostage for much of the day at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas, threatening to kill them before they finally escaped. Akram believed that by taking the hostages, he could secure the release of Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani woman linked to al-Qaeda and serving time in a nearby prison for attempting to kill U.S. soldiers. During her trial, Siddiqui had railed against Jews and demanded that they be excluded from the jury through genetic testing.