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Incoming Canadian premier vows to ban ‘anti-Semitic’ Quds Day rally from Toronto

A demonstrator on a lamp post waves the Palestinian flag during a rally for Al-Quds Day, an event intended to express solidarity with the Palestinian people, on July 25, 2014 in Berlin, Germany
Adam Berry (AFP)

Newly-elected populist premier of the Canadian province of Ontario Doug Ford has vowed to work to prevent the annual anti-Israel Al-Quds Day march from being held in Toronto, after a speaker at this year’s rally called for the “eradication” of Zionists.

Ford -- brother to the late crack-smoking mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford -- promised Sunday that his provincial government “will take action to ensure that events like Al-Quds Day, which calls for the killing of an entire civilian population in Israel, are no longer part of the landscape in Ontario.”

Ford’s vow came a day after a Toronto Jewish group filed a police complaint over the Al Quds Day rally on Saturday, during which some 500 participants marched through the city brandishing Palestinian and Hezbollah flags as well as placards branding Jews “racists” and accusing Israel of apartheid.


Participants chanted slogans against Israel, with one local Muslim religious leader who spoke at the rally calling for “the eradication of the unjust powers such as the American empire, such as the Israeli Zionists.”

“The government of Israel, the state of Israel has committed acts that no other country and no other nation, no other entity has committed,” he was quoted as saying.

The speaker derided the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as “cowards” challenging Israeli soldiers to invade Gaza and “start fighting soldier to soldier, face to face.”

“Why bomb, why send missiles, and aerial bombardments? Start fighting soldier to soldier, face to face. We know you can’t do that, because you are cowards. You’re afraid, because you will leave in body bags,” the speaker reportedly said.

B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn, whose group filed the police complaint against the march, said that “the annual al-Quds Day hatefest is a stain upon Toronto’s open and tolerant image.”

Ford, who will assume the Ontario premiership at the end of the month, called the Toronto rally “racist” and “anti-Semitic.”

“Blatantly racist or anti-Semitic ideology should never be permitted on the grounds of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, or anywhere else in in [sic] our province,” he wrote on Twitter.

Al Quds Day is an annual event billed as a demonstration in support of the Palestinian people and against the existence of Israel held around the world during the period of Ramadan. It began in 1979 when the Islamic Republic of Iran marked the day to express support for Palestinians and call for Israel's demise.

The Toronto march followed similar rallies in London, Berlin, Tehran, Pakistan, Syria, and elsewhere -- though not all of the marches have been held on the same day.

In calling for Al Quds Day rallies to be held around the world, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said this year's events were "special" because of Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and 2018 being "the 70th anniversary of the occupation of the Palestinian land" -- a reference to Israel's War of Independence.

Comments

(2)

They should all be deported back to their slump

STOP I don’t get it. These horrible people should never have the right to demonstrate their hate openly in any country. I love Canada and they are destroying it. It must be stopped now. Thank you Mr Ford for putting a halt to this

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