Jewish Advocacy Group Condemns Hateful Remarks at Toronto Rally
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), a Jewish Canadian advocacy group, condemned on Tuesday the remarks by a speaker at the annual Al-Quds Day protest in downtown Toronto, who called for Israelis to be killed.
Video footage uploaded to YouTube showed the speaker, Elias Hazineh, saying at the rally, "We have to give them an ultimatum. You have to leave Jerusalem. You have to leave Palestine...When somebody tries to rob a bank the police get in, they don't negotiate and we have been negotiating with them 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."
Hazineh is the former president of "Palestine House," a Canadian NGO accused by the government of showing a "pattern of support for extremism.”
In response to the remarks, CIJA CEO Shimon Fogel said, "It is disgusting and outrageous that a speaker at a rally in Canada would call for the murder of Jews in Israel. This is a hideously new low for Al-Quds Day - and speaks to the reason why it was necessary for Queen's Park to refuse the protest access to the Legislature's grounds.”
Fogel added, “We are forwarding the information we have received to the Toronto Police Service for their review, in order to determine whether the statements made by the speaker constitute a violation of the Criminal Code of Canada. At the same time, we call on our fellow Canadians to recognize and condemn this incident for what it is: vicious anti-Semitism that has no place in our country."
The Al-Quds Day in Toronto has for years been used as a platform to delegitimize Israel and call for its destruction. Another speaker at this past Saturday’s protest, Zafar Bangash, attacked the Ontario Parliament’s decision not to allow the rally outside the parliament building, saying that the area had “become a Zionist occupied territory.”
Bangash also said that "Zionism will be eternally shamed.”
At last year's rally, a Jewish high school teacher from Toronto was warned by local police that he is inciting a riot and could be causing mass violence by carrying an Israeli flag.
Toronto police also arrested a Jew who shoved back a Muslim who punched him for not moving his “unclean” dog further away from Muslim women during the rally. The Muslim attacker was neither arrested nor questioned.