A rally on May 13, 2017 in solidarity with Palestinian terrorists staging a hunger strike in Israeli prisons was endorsed by the York Federation of Students (YFS) and the University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU), B’nai Brith Canada has learned.
Hammam Farah, one of the organizers of the rally, described its purpose as “supporting the demands of our heroic prisoners.” Chief among those prisoners is Marwan al-Barghouti, who was convicted of five counts of murder in 2004, along with dozens of other murderers linked to Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, all of which are deemed terrorist groups by the Government of Canada.
A representative of Students against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) at York University delivered a speech in which she falsely refers to convicted terrorists as “political prisoners” and accuses Israel of not providing them with basic rights, despite the fact that Palestinian prisoners receive their rights under the strictest adherence to International law, including health care, legal counsel, humane treatment, family visits, freedom of religion, and education.
Rally attendees also repeatedly chanted, “Viva, viva, Intifada!,” in reference to Palestinian terrorist campaigns targeting Israeli civilians.
“It is incomprehensible that Palestinian terrorists who were convicted of brutally murdering innocent civilians in Israel are being touted in Canada as human rights activists,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “The fact that various student groups participated in this rally is particularly troubling, as they are supposed to represent inclusion on campus, not division.
“Indeed, students (and all Canadians) should strive to take part in movements that encourage justice and tolerance on campus and in the public sphere. But the campaign to honour Palestinian hunger strikers held in Israeli prisons is being grossly misrepresented. Where have we gone wrong that so many student groups would rally in support of individuals who have been convicted of the most brutal acts of terror?”