Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Flash 90

B’nai Brith Canada has denounced a Canadian church’s decision to host an event celebrating a Palestinian Arab terrorist.

The Jewish advocacy organization is asking Canadians to voice their outrage by emailing the Grandview Calvary Baptist Church to let them know that facilitating the event is morally reprehensible but asked those who do so to “please remember to remain civil.”

According to B’nai Brith, on Saturday the Grandview Calvary Baptist Church in Vancouver, British Columbia is providing space for “Iftar in the Old City,” an event organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM).

“Despite its innocuous-sounding name, the event description makes clear the purpose is to honour Ghassan Kanafani, through a scholarship named after him,” B’nai Brith said in a statement.

Kanafani was a leading member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist entity in Canada, and was killed in 1972 by Israel for his role in organizing that year’s Lod Airport Massacre in which 26 civilians were murdered.

B’nai Brith noted that the PYM “has a long record of glorifying terrorism,” including in a 2017 email promoting “resistance, whether by pen or gun” and hailing as “martyrs” other perpetrators of terrorist attacks.

“The leadership of the Grandview Calvary Baptist Church should take a long, hard look in the mirror,” said B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn. “Just last week, 11 Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorists, and last year, Canadian Jews were subjected to an unprecedented barrage of hatred and violence, in which the PYM played a role. Another terrorist shooting attack took place today in the heart of Tel Aviv, murdering at least two with 12 shot. By hosting this event, the Church is knowingly painting a target on the back of our community.”

In 2019, following a campaign by B’nai Brith, Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church in Toronto cancelled a PYM event they were to host. The “Ghassan Kanafani Resistance Arts Scholarship Launch” glorifying Kanafani was cancelled at the last minute after public pressure.

At the time, Mostyn said: “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.”