By Aidan Fishman
Campus Advocacy Coordinator
B’nai Brith Canada
Independent Jewish Voices (IJV) has a long history of headlining the annual anti-Israel al-Quds Day hate rally at Queen’s Park, a B’nai Brith Canada investigation has uncovered. IJV’s links to Holocaust denial and white supremacists were previously exposed by B’nai Brith.
“The fact that a so-called ‘Jewish’ group would align itself in any way with the current Iranian government is appalling,” said Amanda Hohmann, National Director of B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights. “This is the same regime that hosts an annual Holocaust denial cartoon contest, satirizing the genocide of the Jewish people. Iran’s leaders openly call for the destruction of Israel and the murder of its citizens. The fact that anyone would support such a regime is disturbing, but the idea that a self-proclaimed Jewish group would do so is especially horrific.”
Al-Quds Day was first declared in 1979, in the immediate aftermath of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, to call for the annihilation of the State of Israel. Because of its use as a propaganda tool by the Iranian government, al-Quds Day is boycotted even by many opponents of Israel, and commemorated only by supporters of the Islamic Republic. At the 2013 al-Quds Day rally in Toronto, Palestinian community representative Elias Hazineh called for all Israelis to be shot, leading to a Toronto Police investigation.
At that same 2013 al-Quds Day gathering, Hazineh was accompanied by Ken Stone, a founding member of IJV who spoke on behalf of the organization. Stone had previously addressed the 2012 iteration of the event, and reprised his role again in 2015, speaking alongside Nazih Khatatba, a Mississauga Palestinian who infamously praised the murder of five rabbis and an Israeli policeman in his al-Meshwar newspaper.
At 6:20 in the video above, Stone himself employed age-old antisemitic rhetoric during his speech, saying that the mostly Jewish audience of the Jewish National Fund’s Negev Dinner in Hamilton were social parasites (page doesn’t exist).
Stone is a committed backer of the Islamic Republic, having visited Syria in April of 2016 in order to support Iranian puppet Bashar al-Assad, whose forces have killed tens of thousands of Syrian civilians. On May 13th, 2016, Stone delivered remarks on behalf of IJV (page doesn’t exist) at a dinner in Toronto to honour Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who founded Iran’s theocracy. Stone lavished praise on Khomeini as a fierce opponent of Zionism, but a “friend” to Iran’s Jewish community and a “liberator and reformer of the masses”.
Aidan Fishman, B’nai Brith Canada’s Campus Advocacy Coordinator, can be reached via e-mail at: [email protected]
This is the third in a series of a B’nai Brith investigation into the activities of Independent Jewish Voices. Parts 1 and 2 can be found below: