Final Decision: 'Anti-Semitic' Group Loses Canadian Funding
One anti-Israel, anti-Semitic organization will not continue to receive funding by a national government - and the decision is final.
On Wednesday, the Ottawa Federal Court dismissed the appeal filed by the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) against the decision of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to stop the government funding for the years 2009-10, according to Shalom Toronto.
The funding amounted to one million dollars per year, or 74 percent of its budget. The CAF claimed the funds are intended to be used within the framework of language courses for new immigrants and assist them in the process of integration into Canadian society.
Minister Jason Kenney, who headed the Ministry at the time, recounted during the legal proceedings the reasons that led to the decision. The investigation cited anti-Semitic statements by leaders of the organization, who also have expressed support and solidarity with a number of groups declared as terrorist organizations in Canada, including Hamas and Hezbollah.
In 2006, the organization's president sent an email with a proclamation (prepared by a person not related to the organization) attacking Bob Ray, one of the heads of the Liberal Party, and his Jewish wife.
"Bob Ray was the head speaker (at a JNF event), an organization academics say is involved in war crimes and ethnic cleansing," the claim reads.
"Ray's wife is the Vice President (of the Canadian Jewish Congress), a pro-Israel lobbying organization that supports Israeli apartheid and the illegal apartheid wall," it continues.
"President Carter denounced the Israeli apartheid. Bob Ray supports Israeli apartheid. Do not choose a leader who supports apartheid."
The organization also distributed a video in which children express their hatred fort Israel. One child said that every Israeli citizen over the age of 18 is "a legitimate target." Another expressed support for terrorist organizations and called Israel "a racist state."
In 2009, the organization was involved in demonstrations against Israel, with Hezbollah flags flying during the event. Protesters held placards comparing Israel to the Nazis. Several included horrific statements like, "Jewish children, you are going to die - Hamas will get you." At the demonstration, the organization's president called Minister Kenney and Peter Kent MPs (Conservative Party) and Michael Ignatieff (Liberal Party) "whores of war" for supporting Israel's right of self-defense during Operation Cast Lead.
In 2007, Ali Malah, who served as vice president of the organization, participated in a Cairo conference attended by representatives of Hamas, Hezbollah, Jama'a Islamiya and the Arab Liberation Front - all declared terrorist organizations in Canada. The organization's website had links to sites featuring violent videos, including Hamas undergoing military training.
An event marking the 40th anniversary of the organization honored Shiite Islamic activist Zafar, who called other Canadians "infidels" and spoke about the attacks of September 11, 2001 without expressing solidarity for its victims.
For Israel's 60th anniversary, the organization sponsored, along with two other organizations, an essay writing competition on "ethnic cleansing" of Palestine.
At the above interview in 2009, a CAF official attempts to explain the problem as a matter of differing with government policy, which continues to be pro-Israel. While the CAF has attempted to distance itself from evidence on its website and elsewhere that it is heavily involved in anti-Israel activity, the judges at the appeal differ.
"All statements and actions specified by the Minister may logically lead me to the conclusion that the organization is portrayed as a supporter of organizations that Canada has declared as terrorist organizations," Judge Russel Zin stated, maintaining that the nature of the statements of the leaders of the organization may be construed as anti-Semitic.
Minister Kenney praised the decision's logic, stressing that organizations defending terrorist organizations should not receive government funding - especially if they are in charge of absorbing new immigrants into wider society.
The major Jewish organizations in Canada have expressed joy at the court's decision. Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) , said that it is particularly disturbing that an organization who holds opinions that contradict Canadian values is trusted with integrating new migrants in society.
Avi Benlolo, president of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies in Toronto, noted that court documents clearly show that this organization has promoted anti-Semitism and extreme positions that constitute a threat to Canada. He called on the income tax authorities to examine the status of the CAF as a charity organization.