Friday, August 16, 2013

Al-Quds Day in Toronto, a multicultural event celebrating the murder of both Jews and Palestinians

Al-Quds Day is often used to introduce children to antisemitism. This year, at Toronto's al-Qud's Day, this child gave a speech claiming that "Zionist thugs" are behind the Syrian revolution against dictator Bashar al-Assad.
Actually, the rebels are a mix of pro-democracy Syrians, Kurds, and al-Qaeda terrorists, none of whom much like Jews.

This year’s al-Quds Day rally in Toronto drew a lot of media attention because Elias Hazineh voiced his enthusiasm for killing Israelis. But what struck me most forcibly about this annual spectacle of antisemitism was the continued support for Hezbollah, a terrorist group which these days spends its time killing Syrians.

Of course, Elias Hazineh deserves attention because he’s a Liberal insider and an object lesson in the dangers of ethnic group politics. Hazineh was an aid to Liberal MP Caroline Parrish and he ran Liberal MP’s Omar Alghabra’s election campaign. He himself ran (and lost) to be the Ward 10 councillor in Mississauga.

Hazineh is also a former president of Palestine House, the political and cultural centre for Palestinians in the Toronto area. Last year, Palestine House had its funding cut off because of its support for extremism. (See here.)

This year, Hazineh was a featured speaker at the annual al-Quds Day rally at Queen’s Park. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini established International al-Quds Day shortly after the Iranian revolution brought him to power in 1979. Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem, and Khomeini created the holiday to urge Muslims on in their efforts to take Jerusalem from the Jews and wipe Israel off the map.

In keeping with the spirit of al-Quds Day, at the Toronto rally, Hazineh suggested that Israelis live on stolen land, and rather than negotiate with Israelis, Palestinians should kill them.

“When somebody tries to rob a bank, the police get in,” said Hazineh. “They don’t negotiate. And we have been negotiating with them {Israelis} for 65 years. We say, ‘Get out or you are dead.’ We give them two minutes and then we start shooting, and that’s the only way they’ll understand.”

Other Liberals quickly condemned Hazineh. MP Carolyn Bennett tweeted: “We are all appalled by Hazineh remarks promoting violence & killing, at Al Quds rally.”

Liberal Justice critic Irwin Cotler tweeted: “Hazineh's remarks constitute clear incitement to hatred and violence – prohibited under Canadian law. Action warranted.

And indeed because of his remarks, Hazineh is currently under investigation by the police. (See here.)

Hezbollah flags at 2013 al-Quds Day rally in Toronto

Hazineh should also be under investigation by the historians. Sixty-five years ago, the Palestinians and Arabs did not negotiate; rather than accept a compromise that would have given birth to a Palestinian state at the same time as Israel, they followed Hazineh’s advice and came in shooting, trying to kill the State of Israel at its birth. That worked out badly for them then and has ever since.

Calls for violence and extremist rhetoric is nothing new at al-Quds Day in Toronto. Because of the hate-filled speeches at previous years’ rallies, this year, the legislature’s sergeant-at-arms, banned the al-Quds group from holding their rally at Queen’s Park (see here). Unfortunately, they held it anyway.

As in previous years, participants were waving the flag of their heroes: the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah. You might find this strange, as currently Hezbollah is helping the Syrian dictator to put down a revolt against his regime. To date, with Hezbollah’s help, the Syrian army has killed 100,000 civilians, plus a few rebel fighters.

Moreover, Syria is home to a million descendants of Palestinians displaced when the Arab armies came in shooting sixty-five years ago. Now half the Syrian Palestinians have become refugees, just like their grandparents were. On top of this, the Syrian army and their Hezbollah allies have killed about 500 Palestinians.

Indeed, the Syrian Palestinians are worse off than other Syrians, for Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan have all closed their borders to them. These countries continue to welcome other Syrian refugees, but they don’t want any more Palestinians.

Of course the leaders of the United Church and the Canadian Peace Alliance and the other usual suspects aren’t protesting this blatant and deadly discrimination. These groups love to protest against Israel, but in truth being against Israel is what they’re all about. They couldn’t care less about the Palestinians.

Still being indifferent is one thing. To be waving Hezbollah flags in the streets of Toronto while Hezbollah is busy murdering Syrians is quite another.

It’s a vivid reminder that Muslims and Christian Arabs have been the main victims of the seething hatreds and violence that grips too much of the Islamic world. To put things in perspective: more people have been killed in the past two years of civil war in Syria than in the past century of Jewish-Arab conflict over Israel’s existence. 

Note: The annual al-Quds Day rally in Toronto is sponsored by the Islamic Society of York Region. Back in 2008, this group actually sent me an invitation to help them celebrate the 29th anniversary of Iran's revolution. Naturally, I wrote about it ... here.

No comments:

Post a Comment