Jewish group claims pro-Gaza protests have violated Canadian laws
15 hours ago
TORONTO — Rallies held in cities across Canada to condemn Israel's attacks on Gaza may have broken Canadian laws by inciting hatred and genocide, the Canadian Jewish Congress alleged Tuesday, but the position was quickly dismissed by the Canadian Arab Federation.
The congress said it would screen video and images at a news conference Wednesday from protests in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary to make its case that the demonstrations crossed the legal line.
The material will show "pro-Hamas" demonstrations that are "uncivil, un-Canadian, that demonize Jews and Israelis," and might violate Canadian laws, congress CEO Bernie Farber said in an interview.
"Some of the rhetoric and chants that we have heard are everything from calls to murder, to comparison of Jews and Israelis to Nazis, to calls to genocide," he said.
The Jewish advocacy group said it plans to ask both local police and the RCMP to investigate whether any crimes might have been committed.
Thousands of people have demonstrated in cities across Canada against the attacks on Gaza that have killed hundreds of people.
The Israeli government says the action is in retaliation for Hamas rocket attacks on Israel from the Palestinian territory.
There have also been several Canadian rallies in support of the Israeli action.
The congress said it would release a list of those who co-sponsored the anti-Israel protests, among them the Ontario wing of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Canadian Peace Alliance and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers.
One of the groups Farber is naming, the Canadian Arab Federation, calls the congress's approach an unsurprising attempt to divert attention from the horrors the Israeli military has been visiting on Gaza and its people.
It's only normal that many Canadians, horrified by what has occurred in Gaza, would react strongly, but labelling them anti-Semitic or Muslim extremists is just fear-mongering, said Mohamed Boudjenane, executive director of the federation.
"We had 10,000 people (protest)," Boudjenane said.
"How can you control every single person there and not have someone who will scream some weird stuff or someone who could have a flag of Hamas or whatever? But the purpose of the march has nothing to do with that."
Boudjenane pointed out that numerous Jews have also rallied against the Israeli attacks, naming some prominent ones such as author Naomi Klein and political and social activist Judy Rebick.
They aren't anti-Jew, he said, but were only there to protest the "massacre" happening in Gaza.
Boudjenane also accused pro-Israeli counter-demonstrators of taunting the pro-Palestinian side with such epithets as "murderer" and "terrorist."
Farber said if the temperature isn't brought down, the rallies could lead to real violence in Canada or attacks on Jewish institutions, as has happened in some places in Europe.
"We are firm supporters and believers in the need to be able to passionately demonstrate in free and democratic societies," Farber said.
"But most us as Canadians also abhor the vilifying and demonizing and promoting some of the most hateful images that one can really imagine in terms of such demonstrations."
Uh yeah, okay - we'll stop. I guess protesting slaughter just isn't kosher with these fanatics.