A virtual event in Toronto in honor of the Iranian Al-Quds Day was used to spread hate against Israel, B’nai Brith Canada said in a statement on Monday.
Paul Larudee, an Iranian-American activist addressing attendees at Sunday’s online event, proclaimed, “Let us make Zionist citizens of so-called Israel unwelcome anywhere in the world.”
He added, “We must treat them as we would treat any thieves and murderers.” His remarks were welcomed by virtual rally host Farman Ali, who described them as “great words.”
B’nai Brith Canada said it is in the process of filing a complaint with Toronto Police over this act of hatred against Israelis based on their nationality.
Throughout the event, the organization said, Ali repeated the mantra, “Judaism yes, Zionism no,” but this did not prevent the use of anti-Semitic tropes during the rally.
Earlier in the afternoon, organizers played a video entitled “The Palestine Pandemic,” which described Zionism as a “Satanic endeavor.”
The video went on to identify Zionism with “the military-industrial complex, elite-run societies, corporatocracies” and “the 1% who rule this planet.” It concluded with the words: “Free Palestine, free Jerusalem, free the world.”
One speaker alleged that “Apartheid Israel” was an “ally” of COVID-19, while another described Israel as “a cancer that has been growing, a cancer that has been spreading.”
“The hateful, anti-Semitic content of this event demonstrates exactly why it should never again be allowed on Toronto’s streets,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada.
“Even after the COVID-19 restrictions pass, we expect the City of Toronto to follow the lead of world cities like Berlin in permanently banning physical Al-Quds marches,” he added.
Al-Quds Day was declared in 1979 by Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of the Iranian Revolution. It is marked throughout the Middle East and in countries around the world, including the United States.
During Al-Quds Day, rallies are held around the world and are used to incite against Israelis and Jews.
This is not the first time that the Al-Quds Day rally in Toronto has turned into a platform for incitement against Israel.
At the 2018 rally, one of the speakers declared that a day will come when we will see "the eradication of the unjust powers, such as the American empire, such as the Israeli Zionists."
He challenged the IDF to enter Gaza and "fight like men, not cowards," saying, "You will leave in body bags."
During a 2013 Al-Quds Day rally in Toronto, one of the speakers 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.”
Another speaker at the same rally 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.”