Canada: Telling Jews 'Get Out Or You're Dead' Isn't A Hate Crime
In Canada, the Ontario Attorney General (AG) has decided that an anti-Israel activist who called for all Jews living in Israel, and particularly in Jerusalem, to either "get out or be shot" while at a large anti-Israel rally in Toronto did not commit a hate crime.
Last August, Elias Hazineh, the former President of Toronto's "Palestine House", spoke at the annual Al-Quds Day rally in Toronto. Speaking before hundreds of people, Hazineh threatened Jews living in Israel: "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 also quoted from the Koran: "and prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war." The verse details the military preparations for jihad holy war against the "infidels", i.e. non-Muslims.
But advocating violent ethnic-cleansing and encouraging the murder of Jews did not constitute racism or a hate crime according to the AG.
Video from the event shows some of Hazineh's speech to the crowd:
Al-Quds Day has been marked annually around the world since 1979, when it was established by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini to express support for “the liberation of Jerusalem" by Muslim forces and to call for the destruction of the State of Israel.
The rally in question saw around 300 extremists - including Shia Islamists and the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect - wave Iranian and Hezbollah flags during the march.
Frank Dimant, B'nai Brith Canada CEO, responded to the decision not to pursue hate crime charges, saying "it seems that we have sadly grown accustomed to hearing hateful rhetoric spewed at these pro-Iranian-regime, anti-Israel events. As we have noted, Al-Quds Day, a now annual event, is a route by which Canadians are being exposed to the radical and hateful ideologies of the late Ayatollah Khomeini and the banned terrorist group Hezbollah."
“Having met previously with the Federal Minister of Justice to discuss cross-Canada guidelines for the laying of hate crime charges, we now look forward to meeting with the Ontario AG to gain some insight into their decision-making process on this matter and discuss current provincial guidelines," added Dimant.
The decision calls to mind a Winnipeg provincial court judge, who in early January ruled that a 2011 altercation at a local high school, in which a student lit a 15-year-old Jewish student's hair on fire with a lighter while saying "let's burn the Jew," was not a hate crime.
But the ramifications of growing extremism and support for terrorism in Canada are difficult to ignore. Last Monday the Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) presented a report to the parliament in Ottowa detailing the security threat posed by Canadians traveling to Syria and other Arab countries to join Al Qaeda-linked groups, and later returning to commit terror attacks.
Just last December hundreds of anti-Israel activists protested outside the Metro Toronto Convention Center, where the Jewish National Fund (JNF) was holding its annual fundraising gala Negev dinner.