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Toronto Church to Host Event Honouring Terrorist

July 5, 2019

B’nai Brith Canada

TORONTO – B’nai Brith Canada is calling on Canadians to condemn a downtown Toronto church for facilitating an event glorifying a Palestinian terrorist.

On July 13, Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church is set to provide space for the “Ghassan Kanafani Resistance Arts Scholarship Launch,” organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM).

Kanafani was a leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist entity in Canada. In that role, he forged connections between the PFLP and other far-left terrorist groups, including the Japanese Red Army, thereby facilitating the 1972 Lod Airport Massacre in which the two groups murdered 26 civilians, including a Canadian woman. Kanafani was assassinated later that year for his role in the Massacre.

The PYM itself has a long record of glorifying terrorism. In a 2017 email boosting the Scholarship, the group hailed “Resistance, whether by pen or gun,” and in 2018, the PYM translated and posted the last words of “the Martyr Mohammad Tareq,” encouraging further terrorist attacks along the lines of Tareq’s, in which one Israeli was murdered and two others wounded.

“The United Church’s insistence on facilitating this event is shameful and grotesque,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “Canadians expect churches to be places of peace and mutual respect, not altars for the glorification of violence and terrorism.”

In response to B’nai Brith’s concerns, a Trinity-St. Paul’s spokesperson claimed that the PYM had provided a statement that it did not promote or condone violence. By July 5, the Church had not responded to a followup letter from B’nai Brith that explicitly proved this was not true. It also did not comment on the fact that the upcoming event is named after a PFLP terrorist.