April 4, 2022
TORONTO – A newspaper in the Greater Toronto Area with a long history of anti-Jewish incitement is at it again, praising the murder of five people during a terrorist attack in Israel last week.
In the April 1 edition of al-Meshwar, edited by Nazih Khatatba, an article appears with the headline, “Ramadan Comes Early in Palestine This Year.” The article is a lengthy paean to Dia Hamarsha, who opened fire in the Israeli city of B’nei Brak on Tuesday, murdering five people.
The al-Meshwar article states that Hamarsha “executed an operation of exceptional quality against the settlers of the enemy, displaying steadfastness, composure, professionalism and drama that could have come from the world of film.” It goes on to gleefully recount exactly how Hamarsha murdered his five victims, falsely describing them as “settlers,” even though the massacre occurred in B’nei Brak, a city located within Israel’s internationally-recognized territory. The article repeatedly describes Hamarsha – who was killed by police responding to the attack – as a martyr or “shaheed,” an honorific Arabic term reserved for someone who sacrifices their life for a righteous cause.
A similar article published March 31 on the al-Meshwar website also describes the B’nei Brak attack as “an important evolution in the quality and effectiveness of the operations.”
B’nai Brith Canada will file a complaint with the Toronto Police Services in relation to the articles.
“These recent articles from al-Meshwar are extremely sickening, and also dangerous,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “We have seen, especially over the past year, how violence in the Middle East can spill over into attacks on Canadian Jews. Glorifying the murder of Israeli civilians to a broad audience recklessly endangers Jews and Israelis in Canada.
“As part of its ongoing efforts to legislate against online hate, the Government of Canada cannot limit its attention to material in English or French. Sadly, hate comes in all different languages and from a variety of sources.”
Al-Meshwar has a long and sorry history of promoting antisemitism and praising acts of terror. In recent years, articles in al-Meshwar have praised a 2014 massacre at a Jerusalem synagogue, called Judaism a “terrorist religion,” blamed Jews for the Holocaust and glorified suicide bombings.
In response to outreach from B’nai Brith, the Government of Ontario pulled COVID-19 awareness ads from al-Meshwar in April of 2021, and many other advertisers followed suit. Khatatba responded by lashing out at B’nai Brith, bizarrely blaming the organization for “creating sedition and civil wars, not just in Palestine, but throughout the Middle East.”
B’nai Brith had previously convinced Rogers TV to drop an Arabic-language program after it had featured Khatatba denying the Holocaust.