A graffiti image of PFLP terrorist Ghassan Kanafani on the security barrier in the West Bank.
(photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/JUSTIN MCINTOSH)
B’nai Brith Canada has condemned a decision by Toronto’s Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church to “provide a space” for an event that honors Ghassan Kanafani, a designated Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist.
The event being hosted by the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) on July 13 is listed as the Ghassan Kanafani Resistance Arts Scholarship Launch.
According to PYM’s Facebook invitation, the event will “be an evening of spoken word, music, and food to celebrate the artistic and cultural contributions of Palestinians in the diaspora and showcase the winners of the Ghassan Kanafani Resistance Arts Scholarship in this year’s anthology entitled ‘We feel a country in our bones.’”
Kanafani and the PFLP were responsible for the Lod Airport Massacre in May 1972 that left 26 civilians dead, including a Canadian, 17 Christian pilgrims from Puerto Rico, and eight Israelis, and injured 80 others.
At the time of the terror attack, Kanafani was the spokesman for the terrorist group.
B’nai Brith Canada started a petition on Friday calling on the church not to host the scholarship launch. In the letter set to accompany the petition, B’nai Brith Canada points out to the church that “the ‘Palestinian Youth Movement,’ the group holding this event in your church, has also hailed Mohammad Tareq, a Palestinian terrorist who stabbed three Israelis” in the settlement of Adam last July.
At the time, PYM stated that “we recognize that our youth are forced into becoming heroes because of the conditions in which they live, and that the people of Palestine will continue to resist until our land and our people are liberated from the river to the sea.” The movement also translated Tareq’s final message prior to the attack, in which he advocated violence against Jews and Zionists across Israel.
The letter to the Church further notes that “we will not tolerate the open glorification of terrorists and murderers, particularly in a place of worship… Churches should be places of peace, not places where violence and/or terror are glorified.”
B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn issued a statement saying said that “The United Church’s insistence on facilitating this event is shameful and grotesque... Canadians expect churches to be places of peace and mutual respect, not altars for the glorification of violence and terrorism.”
The organization added that a “Trinity-St. Paul’s spokesperson claimed that the PYM had provided a statement that it did not promote or condone violence,” and had not responded to subsequent communications.Click here to sign the B'nai Brith Canada petition.
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