Latest News

Will Ontario Allow Another Hate-Fest on its Property?

Protesters wave the flag of the Hezbollah terrorist group at the 2018 al-Quds Day parade in Toronto, Twitter

April 26, 2022

TORONTO – B’nai Brith Canada is calling on the Government of Ontario to prevent its property from being used for the al-Quds Day hate-fest, scheduled for this Saturday.

After being pushed online for two years due to COVID-19, organizers recently announced their intent to hold an al-Quds Day event again in downtown Toronto, and are calling on their followers to gather at 361 University Ave. That location is occupied by a courthouse, which is owned and occupied by the Government of Ontario.

Al-Quds Day was created in 1979 by the Islamic Regime in Iran, and calls for the complete destruction of Israel. Al-Quds Day events in Canada have become a notorious forum for the promotion of antisemitism, terrorism and even calls for genocide. At the 2014 Toronto iteration of the event, Moulana Zaki Baqri called for “Yahoodi,” i.e. Jews, to be “dismantled.” In 2013 and 2016, speakers called for Israelis to be shot.

At the 2020 virtual Canadian al-Quds Day event, one speaker said of “Zionist citizens of so-called Israel” that “We must treat them as we would treat any thieves and murderers.” This was followed by a video that described Zionism, the Jewish national liberation movement, as a “Satanic endeavour.” The video went on to identify Zionism with “the military-industrial complex, elite-run societies, corporatocracies” and “the 1% who rule this planet.”

In 2018, Ontario Premier Doug Ford promised: “Our government will take action to ensure that events like Al Quds Day, which calls for the killing of an entire civilian population in Israel, are no longer part of the landscape in Ontario.” Two years later, Ontario adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism, which opposes much of the rhetoric and symbolism used on al-Quds Day.

“The Government of Ontario must fulfill its promise to take action against the noxious al-Quds Day,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “There should be no right to engage in hateful speech or wave the flags of terrorist organizations on provincial property.

“Municipal authorities also have a key role to play. The City of Toronto has a policy that explicitly prohibits the use of public space to promote hate or discrimination – why is this never enforced against al-Quds Day?”

During the past year, multiple anti-Israel protests in Canada degenerated into violence in a number of cities, including Montreal and Toronto where, in May, anti-Israel extremists attacked pro-Israel counter-protesters.