Toronto’s Al Quds Day 2023: Hate and Violence on Display

Toronto’s Al Quds Day 2023: Hate and Violence on Display

Last month, a devastating display of hate engulfed the streets of Toronto in what has come to be known as “Al Quds Day.” Self-proclaimed Palestinian rights activists converged on the city center to participate in what has become an annual tradition of glorifying violence and calling for the erasure of the State of Israel. Under the guise of championing Palestinian rights, demonstrators praised prominent members of Canadian-designated terror organizations and unequivocally saluted the actions of convicted murderers.

Al Quds Day 2023, much like previous iterations of the event, brought out the worst in our city. The rally prominently featured flags of the designated terror organization Hezbollah and Iran, a state sponsor of terror. Genocidal chants and signs comparing Israel to ISIS and to Nazi Germany contributed to a palpably threatening atmosphere felt by so many of us here in the Jewish community.

Such hostile behavior should come as no surprise to those familiar with the march’s chief organizer, the Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network. Based in Canada and designated by Israel in 2021 as a terror organization, Samidoun militantly targets the world’s only Jewish state for delegitimization with a startling fervor and maintains close ties with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a Canadian-designated terror entity. Samidoun’s International Coordinator, Charlotte Kates, who took to the stage during the march, is married to Khaled Barakat, a fellow Al Quds Day speaker, and a self-admitted PFLP member.

Far from advocating for peace in the Middle East, Samidoun’s true aspiration is to fuel a violent uprising to destroy the Jewish state. Kates made this clear when she devoted a portion of her Al Quds day rant to demanding Canada delist groups fighting for “Palestinian and Lebanese resistance.” The Palestinian and Lebanese groups listed as terror entities by the Canadian government include the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah, with a notorious track record of violence targeting innocent civilians.

Canadian intelligence services and their foreign counterparts exercise tremendous restraint in designating terrorist entities. The consequences of a terrorist designation are enormous and can be catastrophic for those remotely involved in the activities of designated groups. The barrier to entry into this club is high, and the designation should be a grave occurrence. Organizations labeled as such, therefore, must be universally denounced and ostracized. The events of April 14 in Toronto, however, show that Charlotte Kates and her fellow travelers think otherwise.

In addition to Al Quds Day, a similarly hateful gathering followed in Ottawa, advertised as a “Liberation Conference.” In attendance were many of the same unsavory characters, including Samidoun’s Barakat and Kates, who blemished the streets of Toronto one week prior with their hate. Though the “Liberation Conference” was ostensibly billed as one aimed at denouncing Western imperialism, this was merely a façade. With little actual concern for increasing human rights, they enthusiastically singled out for delegitimization the world’s only Jewish state. While Kates denied her leading role in the conference, her personal cell phone number is listed on the event’s webpage.

Masar Badil, also known as the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement, of which Barakat is also a founding member, was another organizer of the Ottawa conference. The group shares the same rejectionist ideology as the PFLP, denouncing a two-state solution while encouraging another wave of violence.

How could organizations like Samidoun and Masar Badil have been permitted to flourish in Canada by our authorities? This recent “Liberation Conference” was the second gathering in two weeks of a cohort of radical anti-Israel activists advancing a violent and extreme ideology motivated by hate. What will it take for our government to prevent further radicalization?

Far from being the human-rights-minded protests they claim to be, for decades, Al Quds Day rallies and their like around the world have inspired violence and open and vitriolic displays of hate. It is high time that Toronto and other Canadian cities follow the lead of Berlin – a city that knows a thing or two about the dangers of allowing radical hate movements to fester – which, fed up with its virulent displays of hatred, banned Al Quds Day in the city years ago.

Source » israelnationalnews