The head of an Israel advocacy group in Canada condemned death-threat statements against Jews in Jerusalem by a Palestinian community leader and asked Toronto police to investigate whether he had broken the law.
On Saturday at an annual Al-Quds Day rally in Toronto, Elias Hazineh, the former president of Palestine House in suburban Toronto, called for “an ultimatum” to Israelis: “You have to leave Jerusalem. You have to leave Palestine.
“We say get out, or you’re dead! We give them two minutes and then we start shooting. And that’s the only way that they will understand,” Hazineh said to cheers from a crowd of approximately 400.
On Monday night, Canada’s Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs released a statement in which CEO Shimon Fogel said that it is “disgusting and outrageous that a speaker at a rally in Canada would call for the murder of Jews in Israel. This is a hideously new low for Al-Quds Day.”
The annual rally took place at a park near the grounds of the Ontario capitol building. Last week, the sergeant-at-arms of the Legislature denied a permit to hold the rally on the grounds surrounding the building for reasons of “public safety.”
Fogel said Hazineh’s comments underline the reasons that the Legislature refused to allow the rally to be held at the capitol building.
“We are forwarding the information we have received to the Toronto Police Service for their review, in order to determine whether the statements made by the speaker constitute a violation of the Criminal Code of Canada,” he said.
“At the same time,” Fogel added, “we call on our fellow Canadians to recognize and condemn this incident for what it is: vicious antisemitism that has no place in our country.”
A global Al-Quds Day was started by the late Iranian cleric Ayatollah Khomeini to press for the “liberation” of Al-Quds, the Arabic name for Jerusalem.
Khomeini “reminded us that Jerusalem is ours and will remain forever ours,” Hazineh added.
Last year, the federal government cut funding to Palestine House, which had offered newcomer settlement and language instruction services, because of what Ottawa called the cultural center’s “pattern of support for extremism.”