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U of T Uses Terrorist’s Image to Advertise Official Event

Left: A photo of PFLP terrorist Ghassan Kanafani. Right: An event poster used by U of T, featuring Kanafani.

March 3, 2021

TORONTO – B’nai Brith Canada is calling out the University of Toronto for using the image of a notorious Palestinian terrorist to promote an upcoming event.

Tomorrow afternoon, the University’s Institute of Islamic Studies, Department of History, and Centre for the Study of the United States will co-host: “Liberated Students in a Colonised Campus: Reflections on the Palestinian Experience at the University of Toronto.” It is being advertised as the first in a series of similar events co-hosted by those departments.

To advertise the event, the University is using a custom image, showing a person holding a sign that reads, “HEARING PALESTINE,” surrounded by a number of figures. One of them is clearly Ghassan Kanafani, a leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist entity in Canada. Kanafani 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 Jewish woman.

In 2019, following a petition campaign by B’nai Brith, a church in downtown Toronto cancelled an event due to take place on its premises which would have honoured Kanafani.

“The university of Toronto has an antisemitism problem,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “It is morally grotesque that the University is advertising an event using the sympathetic portrayal of a terrorist whose group has been responsible for so many murders, airplane hijackings and suicide bombings targeting innocent civilians.

“We call on the university to cancel the event, issue a public apology, and launch an investigation into how this happened in the first place.”

Ironically, U of T announced in December the launch of a working group to combat antisemitism on campus.

Meanwhile, B’nai Brith is also calling on U of T to implement the recent ruling of its Complaint and Resolution Council for Student Societies (CRCSS), which found that the University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union (UTGSU) had engaged in discrimination against Israelis based on nationality, in violation of its own Anti-Discrimination Policy. That campaign remains ongoing.