Following a campaign by B’nai Brith Canada, a Toronto church has cancelled a previously scheduled event that would have honored a Palestinian Arab terrorist.
On July 13, Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church was set to provide space for the “Ghassan Kanafani Resistance Arts Scholarship Launch,” organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM).
Kanafani was a leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist entity in Canada, and helped to organize a 1972 attack on Israel’s main airport that left 26 civilians dead.
On Friday, B’nai Brith called on Canadians to condemn the Church’s refusal to call off the event, and circulated a petition to that effect.
Late on Friday night, B’nai Brith received a letter from the Board of Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church which confirmed that “the Board has elected to cancel the event.”
“We are relieved that the Church eventually came to the correct decision, to help prevent the shameful glorification of a terrorist,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada.
“B’nai Brith thanks its supporters for their swift and effective response to our call to action,” he added.
“That being said,” stressed Mostyn, “this story is not over. We will continue to investigate how a youth scholarship named after a notorious terrorist is permitted to function in Canada and the United States, and take all possible steps to thwart it.”
In 2017, B’nai Brith Canada called on the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) to remove a teacher from a classroom because of her continued support for two Middle Eastern terrorists, one of them being Kanafani.
In 2016, the organization exposed an anti-Semitic Facebook post in the city of Calgary, resulting in a police investigation.
B’nai Brith Canada released its annual audit in April which found that anti-Semitic incidents in Canada rose to a record high for the third consecutive year in 2018.
The audit showed 2,041 anti-Semitic incidents recorded last year in Canada – 16.5 percent more than the 1,752 incidents in 2017.