Toronto Church pulls out of event honoring terrorist after backlash

A B’nai Brith Canada petition started last week slammed the Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church for offering its assistance honoring Ghassan Kanafani

July 8, 2019 20:02
1 minute read.
Toronto Church pulls out of event honoring terrorist after backlash

A graffiti image of PFLP terrorist Ghassan Kanafani on the security barrier in the West Bank. (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/JUSTIN MCINTOSH)

A Toronto church has withdrawn its tacit backing of an event honoring Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist Ghassan Kanafani, B’nai Brith Canada confirmed in a statement on Monday morning.

Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church was to “provide a space” for the event entitled “Ghassan Kanafani Resistance Arts Scholarship Launch,” which was organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) and set to take place on Saturday.

“We are relieved that the church eventually came to the correct decision, to help prevent the shameful glorification of a terrorist,” B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn said in a statement. “That being said, this story is not over. We will continue to investigate how a youth scholarship named after a notorious terrorist is permitted to function in Canada and the United States, and take all possible steps to thwart it.”

The Jewish group said it received a letter over the weekend from the church, which said that “the board has elected to cancel the event.”
According to PYM’s Facebook invitation, the event was set to “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 to the church that accompanied the petition, the organization said they “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.”

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