iPolitics Commentator Whitewashes Anti-Israel Rallies, Dismisses Their Antisemitic Intentions

December 6, 2023

If Julia Moussa is watching pro-Palestinian rallies in Canada and elsewhere in the Western world, she’s not seeing the same ones as the rest of us.

In her November 30 opinion commentary in iPolitics entitled: “Stop vilifying pro-Palestinian demonstrators,” Moussa, a student at uOttawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, demands that Canadians stop seeing pro-Palestinian rallies in Canada and beyond as ”anti-Semitic and pro-Hamas,” describing the demonstrations instead in the most glowing of terms.

In Moussa’s mind, “across Canada, demonstrators of all backgrounds, parties and faith have gathered to show support for the Palestinian people and demand a ceasefire to end the bloodshed in Gaza,” writing that they have “taken place across the country and haven’t led to any significant violence.”

Moussa’s statement is so fantastical and detached from reality, that it sooner belongs in a work of fiction than on a reputable political news website.

Contrary to Moussa’s revisionist description of pro-Palestinian rallies, they have been consistently and deeply infected with hateful anti-Israel and antisemitic propaganda.

While there are simply too many examples to cite, here are just a select few instances of pro-Palestinian rallies becoming cauldrons of antisemitic hate speech.

  • At an October 28 rally in Montreal, Montreal imam Adil Charkaoui, speaking in Arabic, asked God to “kill the enemies of the people of Gaza and to spare none of them.”
  • On multiple occasions, Café Landwer, a Jewish-owned café, was targeted during anti-Israel rallies in Toronto, despite it having no connection to the Hamas-Israel war.
  • Harsha Walia, a former executive director of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, spoke at a Vancouver rally where she told attendees “How beautiful is the spirit to get free that Palestinians literally learned how to fly on hang gliders,” referring to Hamas’ use of hang gliders during their October 7 terrorist attack.
  • At an October 29 rally in Toronto, at least two Hamas flags were seen. Hamas is a banned terrorist organization in Canada.
  • A rally in Ottawa featured participants who said that Jews should “go back to their country.”

These are not isolated examples; they are small instances of a much larger trend of anti-Israel and antisemitic hate being spread at pro-Palestinian rallies in Canada and around the world.

Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), a key organizer of many pro-Palestinian rallies throughout the world, makes no secret of its noxious views, including overt hostility to Israel’s very existence. Earlier in 2023, a spokesperson for the group told a demonstration in Montreal that Zionism is “a “slow-moving genocide,” and that “we must fight Zionism here.”

The group has explicitly praised Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attack in southern Israel, writing in a social media post in early October that “the resistance in Gaza stormed the illegitimate border fence…the days of our fedayeen (fighters) advancing into occupied territory….Gaza, the cradle of our resistance and the lifeblood of our struggle, is pushing us closer to the hour of liberation than ever before.”

Those words are as clearly articulated as they are hateful, and provide little doubt as to the worldview of a prominent anti-Israel organization behind rallies around the world.

And while there are doubtless many individuals who participate in such rallies out of a concern for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, it is indisputable that many others – including most importantly, organizers of many of these rallies – hold distinctly repugnant views.

Rather than focusing on the humanitarian concerns of civilians in the Gaza Strip, scores of pro-Palestinian rallies have instead become hotbeds of hate towards Israel and Jews in general, and should be recognized as such by the news media, rather than being falsely whitewashed.

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