Published Oct 16, 2023
Hamas supporters are attempting to make Canada as unsafe for Jews as possible. It is sickening, appalling and repulsive — and it repudiates everything for which liberal democracy stands.
It is not as if the Hamas terrorists are taking the next flight into Toronto. No, the Canadian-designated terrorist group that has been attacking Israel since Oct. 7 unfortunately has an outrageous number of supporters in this country.
They have been celebrating — and even passing out sweets at their so-called rallies — across Canada, even as the genocidal Hamas group’s former chief, Khaled Meshaal, proclaimed a “global Jihad” against Jewish people. He called on pro-terrorism forces around the world to answer this call last Friday in a “Day of Rage,” “Al Aqsa Deluge Day.” Various Canadian organizations planned “solidarity” demonstrations.
There is no place for “solidarity” in Canada with acts terror. In this country, we resolve our differences peacefully, through democratic elections and free and fair debate. We do not encourage violence against another community, even our political rivals, based on their politics or religious beliefs.
Hamas has demonstrated, time and again, that it is a terrorist organization as bad or worse than Daesh (the Islamic State). The group’s charter explicitly calls for its followers around the world to murder Jews, and it rejects all attempts to establish peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. The terrorists’ distorted, grotesque ideology is devoid of humanity and seeks to destroy Western civilization itself.
At B’nai Brith Canada, we have long been sounding the alarm about the prevalence of similar pro-terrorism rallies in Canadian cities. For example, we have repeatedly asked Toronto to ban the annual Al-Quds Day rally as it tends to consist of violent incitement.
There can be no doubt about what these rallies mean. B’nai Brith discovered flags bearing Hamas symbols and slogans at a recent gathering in Toronto and watched in horror as the crowd engaged in genocidal chants such as “Free Palestine from the River to the Sea” and glorified the Palestinians’ “Intifada,” an Arabic term that refers to violent revolution. Some also yelled in Arabic, “Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the army of Mohammed will return!” — a popular anti-Semitic chant used to incite extremists by Hamas itself.
Meanwhile, Khaled Barakat — a senior leader of the U.S. and Canada-designated terror group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) — addressed demonstrators at a hate rally in Vancouver, where he continues to live.
Many of these rallies are abetted by radicalized university students and youth organizations. One event that was planned by the Palestine Youth Movement for Oct. 13 in cities such as Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver was promoted as a march to “Flood Al-Aqsa” — the name Hamas itself has given to its attack. In past years, a co-sponsor, Students in Solidarity with Palestinian Human Rights, was caught by B’nai Brith distributing Hamas-linked keffiyehs (scarves) and other materials.
As Canadians, we must start asking ourselves who we are, and how much more of this evil incitement we are willing to condone.
Think about this: A Hamas terrorist called for a Holy War on all Jewish people, and there are Canadians celebrating it. Jewish Canadians should not have to wake up wondering if today is a safe day to send their children to school.
Canada missed its opportunity during the Holocaust to stand on the right side of history and save innocent Jewish lives. In these early days since the Hamas massacre, we have seen strong support from the vast majority of our elected politicians.
There are some moments in history that demand you take a side. You cannot support the actions of Hamas while also claiming to believe in a multicultural and diverse Canada.
— Michael Mostyn is CEO of B’nai Brith Canada