Rampant Human Rights Abuses In Honduras: A View From The Ground

[The photograph above shows a vest warn by a human rights defender from the village of Guapinol in Honduras.]

June 10, 2019

On June 7, 2019, I travelled to Honduras to join a six-member delegation for a human rights fact-finding mission.

The five other members of the delegation are: Michael Berghoef, a Professor of Social Work at Ferris State University; Pedro Cabezas, a Coordinator with the Central American Alliance Against Mining; Amanda Grzyb and Bernie Hammond, an Associate Professor and a Professor Emeritus, respectively, of Western University in Canadaand Ainhoa Montoya, a Lecturer at the University of London.

The members of our delegation are pictured below:

Delegation

The focus of our delegation’s fact-finding mission is resource exploitation in a protected, natural park near the town of Tocoa. For years, local residents have resisted mining exploration and development in that park, rightly fearing that mining activity will greatly exacerbate a severe water crisis in their region.

As we have already learned, the corrupt, illegitimate and far-right government of Juan Orlando Hernández has reacted to the concerns of local residents with harsh repression. Continue Reading ›

Yet Another Pro-Israel Circus in Canada’s Parliament

[In the photograph above, former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler (second from left) is shown with Israeli Ambassador Nimrod Barkan, Liberal MP Michael Levitt, Conservative MP David Sweet and NDP MP Murray Rankin.]

June 7, 2019

Yesterday, Canada’s Parliament treated us to yet another, pathetic spectacle of bipartisan adoration for Israel’s apartheid regime.

The impetus for Parliament’s latest travesty was the peaceful disruption earlier this week of a speech given by former Canadian Justice Minister, Irwin Cotler.

On June 3, Cotler spoke at Concordia University in Montreal at a conference of “human security” “thought leaders.”

Yves Engler, Malcolm Guy and I – along with several other supporters of Quebec Movement for Peace – interrupted Cotler’s speech and called him out on his unqualified support for the Zionist entity.

This Week’s Pro-Israel Hysteria

Within hours of our peaceful disruption, Canada’s pro-Israel crowd descended into outright hysteria. Continue Reading ›

Pro-Israel Lobby Launches New Smear Campaign Against Al Quds Day Organizers

June 4, 2019

The pro-Israel lobby is apoplectic.

After pulling out all the stops to end the annual Al Quds Day rally in Toronto, the lobby failed spectacularly to stop it.

Now, in an effort to heighten pressure on Toronto City staff and police to violate the constitutional rights of Palestinian solidarity protesters, the lobby has launched a new and desperate smear campaign.

According to a report issued by B’nai Brith Canada on June 2, 2019 (the day after this year’s rally), the sign pictured above was carried by a protester at the rally.

According to B’nai Brith:

The sign depicts the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and warns that, “The last Khayber is ready,” an allusion to an ancient battle in which a Muslim army defeated and slaughtered Jews in the Arabian Peninsula. It also predicts the coming of “the last Hayder,” a nickname for Ali, the leading figure in Shi’a Islam.

Before I address B’nai Brith’s interpretation of the sign, a few preliminary observations are in order.

First, the organizers of the rally (for whom I act as legal counsel) commissioned a set of placards for use at this year’s rally. The content of those placards was carefully reviewed and considered. The sign shown in B’nai Brith’s report of June 2, 2019 was never approved by organizers. They had nothing to do with it.

Second, at the Al Quds Day rally held in Toronto last year, a pro-Israel counter-protester was photographed carrying a poster which referenced Khaybar:

Khaybar_last_chance

Continue Reading ›

Ontario’s Right-Wing Politicians Threaten Free Speech

(Photograph above: Ontario Premier Doug Ford embraces Israeli President Reuven Rivlin during Rivlin’s recent visit to Canada.)

 

June 3, 2019

This past weekend, during my keynote speech at the Al Quds Day rally in Toronto, I condemned the failed efforts of Doug Ford, John Tory and other right-wing, Ontario politicians to prevent us from holding our demonstration in Toronto.

This is the video of my speech:

Pro-Israel Politicians, Lobby Groups and Media Fail Spectacularly To Stop Al Quds Day Rally

June 2, 2019

Yesterday, over 1,000 protesters gathered outside the United States Consulate in Toronto to demand justice for Palestinians.

In so doing, they defied a bevy of pro-Israel politicians, lobby groups and media, including Doug Ford, the Premier of Ontario, and John Tory, the mayor of Canada’s largest city.

Ford, Tory and other pro-Israel politicians have repeatedly vowed to bring an end to the Al Quds Day rally.

On June 10, 2018, within days of his election, Ford tweeted that “Our government will take action to ensure that events like Al Quds Day… are no longer part of the landscape in Ontario.”

Two days earlier, Toronto’s Mayor vowed to take “strong action” against the Al Quds Day organizers, while Liberal MP Michael Levitt, Chair of the Canada-Israel Parliamentary Group, urged the City and Province “to hold the organisers accountable for this hateful event.”

No politician, however, has been as relentless in attacking Al Quds Day as Toronto City Councillor James Pasternak. For years, the fanatically Zionist Pasternak has waged a veritable jihad against the Al Quds Day organizers. Continue Reading ›

Al Quds Day Affirms Palestinian Rights

May 30, 2019

Earlier this week, I spoke with Phil Taylor of The Taylor Report on Toronto’s CIUT FM Radio.

Our discussion concerned the plight of the Palestinian people, the Trump administration’s move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and the Al Quds Day rally being held in Toronto this Saturday, at which I will be the keynote speaker. We also discussed Israeli violations of the sovereignty of neighbouring states, including Lebanon and Syria.

You can listen to my discussion with Phil Taylor here: