Nakba Day: A Festival of Hate in Downtown Toronto: Where’s The Media Coverage?

On Saturday, May 13, Nakba Day was held at Dundas Square, in downtown Toronto.

The demonstration, organized by a litany of local anti-Israel organizations, was marketed as commemorating 75 years since the “nakba,” or Arabic for catastrophe, referring to Israel’s rebirth in 1948 and an effort to “resist against the ongoing settler colonial and imperial forces of Zionism!”

The term nakba is a specific word used by those who seek to delegitimize Israel’s existence as a Jewish State.

According to promotional materials distributed before the event, the rally invited the public to “join us in commemorating 75 years of resistance,” adding that the day recognizes the Palestinians who “have been resisting ongoing Zionist military occupation and settler colonialism.”

If you’re wondering what exactly the organizers of Nakba Day mean by referring to Palestinians “resisting,” in popular Palestinian parlance, the term is a euphemism often used to describe the use of armed violence against innocent Israeli civilians.

The claim of “ongoing Zionist military occupation and settler colonialism” is absurd, given that Israel enjoys full legal claim to the land it possesses, and it represents a continuation of the ancient Jewish inhabitation of the land of Israel.

While the organizers of Nakba Day could claim that they were referring only to non-violent means of resistance, the makeup of their speakers’ addresses belies such a defence.

Moe Jaberi, of the Toronto4Palestine organization, told attendees in no uncertain terms that all resistance against Israel is justified, including the use of armed violence.

“Glory to our united armed resistance. Armed resistance from the river to the sea, including the resistance from the surrounding regions and its allies. Glory to the resistance. The Palestinian resistance is our glory. The Palestinian resistance is a legitimate representative, and only representative of Palestine and Palestinians,” Jaberi said.

Jaberi, who weeks prior at the Al Quds day rally in Toronto called for Israel to be replaced by a Palestinian state, proclaimed at the Naqba Day rally: “We will free Palestine from the river to the sea from every single Zionist! We will go back to 1948. One state. One Palestinian state. I will repeat it one more time… We will go back to 1948. One state. One Palestinian state. [from here in Arabic] Glory to the resistance. Pride in the resistance. Glory to the resistance.”


It bears repeating noting that for these anti-Israel detractors, the conflict isn’t about the 67’ lines, it’s about Israel’s very existence and for Jews to either be ethnically cleansed from the region or victims of genocide.

In a back-and-forth with the crowd, a representative of the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) and Moe Jabari said the following:

PYM’s representative: “To this very day, Palestinians have been courageously resisting oppression against all adds, and fighting for their freedom and national liberation by any means necessary.”
Moe Jaberi: “Any means necessary.”
Crowd: “Any means necessary.”
Moe Jaberi: “Any means necessary.”
Crowd: “Any means necessary.”
PYM’s representative: “While we are here to express our outrage at 75 years of Israel oppression, we’re also here to uplift and support our brave resistance and national liberation struggle. Long live the resistance.”


Issam Yamani, a former member of the banned terror group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and another speaker at the demonstration, promised attendees that victory would be theirs, saying that “The struggle will continue, and we are sure that one day we’ll be victorious, and we’ll celebrate our victory in every city in Palestine, in Jerusalem, in Jenin, in Nablus, in Haifa, in Yafa, in Suhmata my village and in Silwan…”


While Jenin and Nablus are cities under the control of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Haifa and Jerusalem are Israeli cities, at the very least tacitly suggesting that Israel should no longer be in existence.

Firas Al-Najim, one of Canada’s most prominent anti-Israel activists known for spewing antisemitism proclaimed: “Walk with Israel. Next week. Everybody join. Walk against the Zionist regime and the Zionist community criminals.”

Also in attendance was Nazih Khatatba, Editor of the Arabic-language newspaper Meshwar based in Mississauga, which HonestReporting Canada has exposed for engaging in antisemitism, glorification of terrorism and Holocaust denial.

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The incitement spread at the Nakba Day was not limited only to the speakers; chants by those in attendance were also hateful in nature.

In one chant, attendees repeated the following phrases:

Long live the intifada
Palestine is Arab, from the (river) water to the (sea) water
One, two, three, four, open up the prison’s door
Palestine is Arab, from the (river) water to the (sea) water
(originally in Arabic)
Resistance is justified when people are occupied
There is only one solution.
Intifada, revolution Intifada, Intifada Long live the Intifada

The phrase “from the river to the sea” is a popular rallying cry for anti-Israel activists, and is an unambiguous statement that Israel should be dismantled in its entirety, from the Jordan River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.

As for the phrase “long live the intifada,” there can be no doubt as to what it means.

The two Palestinian intifadas, in particular the Second Intifada from 2000 to 2005, was a campaign of terrorism perpetrated by Palestinian terrorist organizations which massacred about one thousand innocent Israeli civilians, whose only crime was being Israeli.

In recent days, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a fundamentalist extremist Islamist terrorist group banned in Canada and a number of other countries, launched roughly 1,500 rockets at Israeli population centres, aiming to kill as many innocent Israelis as possible.

Against such a backdrop and on the heels of this recent conflict, having activists calling for the destruction of Israel and praising the murderous intifada is an obscene sight to take place in downtown Toronto. The news media has a special responsibility to shine a light on this dangerous gathering, and to raise the alarm when such explicit incitement, along with calls for genocide and chants in support of a UN-member state’s destruction rears its ugly head in Canada’s largest city.


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