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

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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:

The Centre for Israel & Jewish Affairs: A Closer Look At A Lobbying Behemoth

May 27, 2019

In December 2016, when NDP leader Jagmeet Singh was a member of Ontario’s legislature, he admirably opposed an anti-BDS motion promoted by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA). Despite his opposition, however, Mr. Singh felt it necessary to pay homage to CIJA before explaining his reasons for voting against the motion:

Before I begin, I also want to acknowledge CIJA’s tremendous work. They are a paramount [sic] of professionalism in the way they conduct themselves and the way they advocate their position and I want to acknowledge that as well.

For those of us who advocate for Palestinian rights in this country, such spectacles of deference to CIJA come as no surprise.

For years, CIJA has skilfully deployed its massive lobbying resources to cultivate relationships with politicians across the political spectrum.

The Hill Times has repeatedly recognized CIJA’s CEO Shimon Fogel as one of the top 100 lobbyists in Canada, while Embassy Magazine has ranked him among the 50 most important people influencing Canadian foreign policy.

Fogel is by no means the only lobbyist in the employ of CJJA. According to CIJA’s filings with the Office of Canada’s Lobbying Commissioner, CIJA employs no less than fifteen registered lobbyists:

Screen Shot 2019-05-26 at 10.39.24 PM

Just what are all these paid lobbyists up to?

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Canada’s Federal Court Told Israeli Settlements Flagrantly Violate International Law

May 23, 2019

On May 21 and 22, 2019, Canada’s Federal Court in Toronto heard arguments as to the illegality of Israel’s settlements in the West Bank.

The context for the debate about Israel’s settlements was a legal challenge by Jewish-Canadian human rights activist Dr. David Kattenburg to fraudulent “Product of Israel” labels affixed to bottles of West Bank settlement wines sold in Canada.

As I have previously reported here, I act for Dr. Kattenburg in his judicial review application.

Prior to the hearing of Dr. Kattenburg’s application this week, a prothonotary of the Federal Court granted intervenor status in the case to Independent Jewish Voices Canada, but denied intervener status to B’nai Brith Canada, which describes itself as a “staunch defender” of Israel.

Shortly prior to this week’s hearing, however, B’nai Brith appealed the decision of the prothonotary and was ultimately allowed to intervene on the narrow question of whether Israel’s settlements are illegal under international law.

Despite an overwhelming body of international legal authority declaring the settlements to be a “flagrant” and “grave” violation of international law, B’nai Brith argued in Court that the settlements are legal. Continue Reading ›