Push to Erase Palestinians: Canadians Promoting Genocide

Canada continued to support Israel despite the blatant international law violations. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Yves Engler

For those of us who believe in human rights for all it’s necessary to disrupt the institutions seeking to erase Palestinians.

In the name of protecting Canadian Jews many are promoting the cultural and physical erasure of a faraway people.

Recently there’s been a push to suppress a traditional Palestinian garment. To the delight of many, the speaker of the Ontario legislature banned kaffiyehs from the provincial assembly.

In a sign of support for this racist policy, prominent ‘progressive’ doctor and Ottawa-Carleton District School Board trustee, Nili Kaplan-Myrth, recently bemoaned a fellow trustee who “put on a keffiyeh”, making it “not safe for Jews”.

Similarly, author Dahlia Kurtz posted about a friend who panicked when a worker at her child’s daycare had on a kaffiyeh and a similar thing happened when the president of a Canadian Union of Public Employees local wore the garment while addressing members.

In a particularly odious expression of this thinking, right-wing X account ‘Love My 7 Wood’ quote tweeted a picture of a member of the Alberta legislature wearing a kaffiyeh noting, “She and her NDP colleagues wear that for one reason and one reason only. To intimidate Jews.” (To which I replied “All Palestinian culture exists for one reason and one reason only. To intimidate Jews.”)

Others have sought to erase Palestinian poetry. B’nai Brith recently gloated that they got a Toronto library branch to remove prominent poet Refaat Alareer’s “If I Must Die” from a display. Four months ago Alareer and five family members were wiped out by the Israeli military and on Friday they killed his daughter, her husband and their infant child.

Not content with suppressing Palestinian poetry and garments, many express their ethnicity/religion by seeking to suppress Palestinian history.

Recently, there was a push to stop the Peel District School Board from marking the Palestinian catastrophe, which saw over 700,000 ethnically cleansed from their homeland in 1947/48. To the chagrin of some, the suburban Toronto school board adopted Nakba Remembrance Day’ as one of over 20 similar historic or cultural days.

A Canadian Jewish News headline explained “Peel school board’s move to add ‘Nakba Remembrance Day’ to its calendar spurs objections from Jewish parents—and the Ontario education ministry”. The story reported that the Jewish Educators and Family Association of Canada “launched an online campaign from within the Jewish community, encouraging people to write to [education minister Stephen] Lecce protesting the addition of Naqba (or Nakba) Remembrance Day.”

A similar campaign was instigated after the British Columbia Teachers Federation called for education on the Nakba last month. The founder of Nonviolent Opposition Against Hate, Masha Kleiner, instigated a petition to oppose it.

Alongside the push to erase Palestinian history and art, there’s a bid to starve Palestinians. The advocacy agent of Canada’s Jewish Federations, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), is boasting that they filed suit against Ottawa for funding the UN agency for Palestinian refugees. They want the Federal Court to order the government to block assistance to refugees in Gaza even though the International Court of Justice has twice ruled that humanitarian assistance must be delivered to Gaza.

The federations, CIJA, B’nai Brith, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Honest Reporting Canada and other organizations have supported the slaughter of 40,000 Palestinians over the past six months. CIJA’s director in Israel David M. Weinberg calls Palestinians in Gaza “the enemy population” and pushed “to reduce Gaza neighborhoods from which Hamas operated to rubble (as a matter of principle and not just for military advantage – and no, this is not a war crime).”

In December the mayor of Hampstead, who boasts about leading “one of the most concentrated Jewish populations outside of Israel”, expressed his support for wiping out all Palestinian children. Jeremy Levi told me he would continue supporting Israel even if they killed 100,000 or more Palestinian kids since “good needs to prevail over evil”.

Many within the Jewish community are, of course, appalled by this supremacist, genocidal thinking. Jews Say No to Genocide has become an important organizing force in Toronto and in Montreal a contingent of Hasidic Jews have participated in many anti-genocide demonstrations in recent months. Independent Jewish Voices has also organized a slew of events against genocide.

Still, it’s remarkable how many Canadians’ religious/ethnic identity is expressed by seeking to erase a people 8,000 kilometers away. As I’ve detailed, the political forces at play are multifaceted, but part of it is a network of Jewish Zionist organizations that actively promote this type of thinking. There are numerous private schools, summer camps, community centres, synagogues and other organizations that push people into worshiping a violent faraway state that oppresses millions.

This elaborate genocidal network is rarely scrutinized. But, for those of us who believe in human rights for all it’s necessary to disrupt the institutions seeking to erase Palestinians.

 – Yves Engler is the author of Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid and a number of other books. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle. Visit his website: yvesengler.com.

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
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  1. Congrats on all counts. Now we are seeing the Jewish Supremacists coming out of the darkness, those with the big money who rule politicians, academia and media in our “mock” democracies.I’ve already had the honor of being called an anti-Semite and even compared to the late Helen Thomas, by Honest Mike, the boss and bottle washer of Honest Reporting Canada. We’ve got to declare ourselves against genocide. Jews eveywhere must either do the same or risk real blowback anti-Semitism in Canada some day. God Save the Palestinians from genocide!

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