An image from Saturday's Mississauga rally (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
Last Saturday, about 100 protesters gathered at Celebration Square in downtown Mississauga, ostensibly to condemn Israel’s potential extension of sovereignty to communities east of the Green Line.
A video of the Mississauga rally, first exposed by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, shows attendees chanting in Arabic: “Palestine is our country, and the Jews are our dogs!” Later in the same video, protesters promise to “sacrifice our soul and blood for Palestine” and proclaim that “martyrs by the millions march to Jerusalem.”
B’nai Brith has independently verified the translation. In Islamic culture, dogs are traditionally despised and regarded as impure.
Through its own investigation, B’nai Brith has discovered that the co-organizers of the rally – and many of its attendees – were mere high school students. B’nai Brith has identified one of the co-organizers, but has chosen not to name her at this time due to her status as a minor.
“The display of antisemitism in Canada’s public squares is totally unacceptable,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B'nai Brith Canada. “Opposition to Israeli policy can never be used as an excuse to demean Jews as ‘dogs’ or to threaten violence against them.
“We have reached out to the high school attended by one of the rally’s organizers, and hope to visit at an appropriate time in order to educate students about the dark places to which rhetoric of this sort can lead.”
This is not the first time that Mississauga’s Celebration Square has played host to antisemitic hate speech. In 2017, Palestinian protesters there chanted, “Remember Khaybar, oh you Jews, the Army of Muhammad will return!,” in reference to an ancient battle in which a Muslim army slaughtered Jews in the Arabian Peninsula. No charges were laid following that incident.
According to an April 29 report by Peel Regional Police, Jews were the most targeted religious group for hate crimes in the region in both 2018 and 2019, despite constituting just 0.22% of the total population as of 2013.