Prominent Anti-Israel Activists & Arabic-Language Newspaper Call For Israel’s Destruction & Engage In Antisemitism

Some of Canada’s most prominent anti-Israel activists are once again using traditional news and social media platforms to disseminate their hatred.

Firas al-Najim, the leader of a group called Canadian Defenders 4 Human Rights, and who has been the subject of multiple HonestReporting Canada alerts chronicling his antisemitic and anti-Israel disinformation, has posted a number of videos to his new TikTok account, where he calls for the destruction of Israel and praises terrorist groups. His previous TikTok account was closed by the social media company after HonestReporting Canada alerted TikTok officials and the public about the nefarious content of his posts.

In one video from September 3, al-Najim is seen trampling on an Israeli flag in Windsor, Ontario, telling viewers that “the Zionist regime will be dismantled,” referring to Israel as a “cancerous entity,” and proclaiming that “Zionism is terrorism. Zionism is racism.”

Al-Najim’s ire is not only targeted towards Israel, but clearly towards Jews as a larger group.

In another recent video on September 13, al-Najim taps into antisemitic conspiracy theories by referring to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as “the inheritors of the killers of the prophets,” continuing a favourite recurring theme of his, where he calls Jews prophet-killers on social media.

In another video post from mid-September, al-Najim takes issue with how Canadian news media outlets cover stories of intolerance in society, telling viewers that the Canadian news media “always focuses on antisemitism… obviously that’s because of the Zionist lobbies.”

In the video, al-Najim confidently tells viewers that such claims of antisemitism are false and asserts that the Jewish community creates false incidents of antisemitism in order to gain sympathy, labeling claims of antisemitism “over-exaggerated,” and little more than “propaganda so they (the Jews) can always blame the false flags as if they’re in danger and that they’re the most targeted people.”

However, there is no evidence that the Jewish community is fabricating claims of antisemitism, and data from Statistics Canada shows how Jews remain the country’s largest group on the receiving end of religiously-motivated hate crimes, a trend also seen in the United States.

In his monologue, al-Najim also defended Hezbollah and Hamas, calling them “righteous resistance groups.” In truth, both groups are Islamist terrorist organizations, which have consistently and as a matter of practice, specifically targeted innocent people for maim, mayhem and murder.

Both individually and when taken together, the content of al-Najim’s recent posts, where he lauds Islamist terrorist groups, denies the scourge of antisemitism in society, calls Jews prophet-killers and Israel a “cancerous entity,” and calls for its destruction, make a very chilling compilation of not just unhinged disinformation, but of extremist hate.

Take Action Now: Either on the TikTok app or via its website, report the TikTok account (@Mahdistreammedia) for hate speech and for the promotion of violence. With 2,245 followers and 63,000 likes as of this writing, it’s imperative that his account doesn’t grow and that his hate doesn’t go viral.

Watch the video below on how to report Firas (Note: You must be signed into your Tiktok account)

His colleague, Aliya Hasan, who describes herself as the co-director of al-Najim’s organization, Canadian Defenders 4 Human Rights, recently posted an image on her Instagram page with close to 14,000 followers, of an elderly Palestinian man in front of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount (the Jewish people’s holiest site), along with the caption: “The 3rd holiest site in Islam is being defiled by modern day n*zis,” clearly referring to Israel. Comparing contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis is listed as an illustrative example of antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

This is not Hasan’s first foray into anti-Israel hate. In January, Hasan, in our view, incited violence and praised Palestinian terrorism on her Instagram page. On Canada Day 2022, Hasan shared with her Instagram followers that her organization was staging a protest outside a Jewish-owned Israeli-themed store in Thornhill, Ontario in order to “confront Zionists.” Hasan shared a video of herself chanting “Zionism is terrorism” at the event, which was aimed at harassing innocent shoppers.

Take Action Now: Either on the Instagram app or via its website, report Hasan’s Instagram account (@Aliya.hasan_) for hate speech. With close to 14,000 followers as of this writing, it’s imperative that this account doesn’t grow and that this hate doesn’t go viral.

Watch the video below on how to report Aliya (Note: You must be signed into your Instagram account)

Unfortunately, Al-Najim and Hasan are not alone in using the media to propagate hatred and intolerance.

Meshwar is an Arabic-language newspaper based in Mississauga, Ontario, which has been the subject of multiple HonestReporting Canada alerts for its history of publishing antisemitic content and glorification of Palestinian terrorism. Its editor, Nazih Khatatba, has claimed there are “no civilians in Israeli society” and that all Israelis are thus legitimate targets for terrorism and has described terror bombings as “beautiful.”

Khatatba has also praised the actions of a Palestinian terrorist who murdered a young Israeli woman.

In its August 25, 2023 edition, the newspaper published a poem called “The Great Auction,” where the author extolled the virtues of terrorism against Israel.

The poem attacked Arab states who have signed peace with Israel, saying “there will be no peace, talking will be of no use,” and instead makes clear that “There in Gaza/and here, in Jenin/blood speaks/the bullet talks/retribution has come…

HonestReporting Canada has independently verified the translation of this poem published by Meshwar from the original Arabic.

It is difficult to interpret the poem as anything else but a total rejection of Israel’s existence, and indeed as a call for arms and violence against the Jewish State. Given the newspaper’s history of publishing columns calling for the destruction of Israel, this latest poem – while deeply disturbing – unfortunately also comes as little surprise.

While it may be tempting to write off Meshwar as a fringe and irrelevant publication, it nevertheless received taxpayer funds from the federal government in 2021 as part of Ottawa’s COVID-19 relief payments. Following HonestReporting Canada’s alerts and complaints to the federal government, Pablo Rodriguez, Canada’s Minister of National Heritage, launched an investigation and ensured that Meshwar repaid the funds it received due to its hateful conduct.

As Jews across Canada recently commemorated Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, which marked a time of renewed hope for a sweet new year, extremist voices are using the media – both social and traditional – to spread anti-Israel & antisemitic incitement to maliciously target the Jewish State and the Jewish people. The news media and our political stakeholders alike, must take note of these hatemongers in our midst and issue strong condemnations.


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