Activists with alleged connections to terrorist organizations are keynote speakers at an event on Friday that is being held on Ottawa city property, against the municipality's policies on providing public spaces to individuals and groups that support violence.
Speakers with terrorism ties
Khaled Barakat — allegedly a leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization — and his wife Charlotte Kates — a leader in the allegedly PFLP-affiliated Samidoun Palestinian Prisoners Network — are featured speakers at the International League of Peoples' Struggle (ILPS) in Canada's 5th assembly at the Ottawa city-owned Foster Farm Community Centre on Friday.
According to the rental policy of the city of Ottawa, the municipality "will not provide public space, facilities and/or properties within its jurisdiction to an individual or group that supports or promotes views, ideas or presentations which promote or are likely to promote" violence or disctimination, contempt or hatred to a person based on national origin.
“We are extremely concerned that PFLP-terror tied individuals and organizations have been able to rent space that falls under the jurisdiction of the City of Ottawa, a clear violation of the city's policies meant to protect religious, national, and ethnic groups from hate and incitement," President and CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) Shimon Koffler Fogel said in a statment.
A promotional image for the ILPS assembly shows a previous ILPS event in which Barakat and Kates sit next to a PFLP poster featuring the terrorist group's imprisoned secretary-general Ahmad Sa'adat.
Deeply concerned about an event in Ottawa featuring PFLP-tied orgs & individuals that have promoted incitement against the #Jewish community. The #PFLP is a designated terrorist entity.We have raised concerns with @ottawacity & are strongly encouraging appropriate action. pic.twitter.com/ZR3xmvlLU4— CIJA (@CIJAinfo) June 2, 2022
Another advertisment on Instagram says the ILPS supports Palestinian "resistance" against Israel "by any means necessary" — A phrase that has recently become more popular with anti-Israel groups and has been widely criticized as condoning violence and terrorism.
"It is unacceptable to provide a public platform in Canada to those who call for ‘resistance’ against the Jewish people by ‘any means necessary’."President and CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) Shimon Koffler Fogel
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Barakat is listed in the ILPS event program as a representative of the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement (also known as Masar badil).
"Barakat’s latest endeavour, known as the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement, is so extreme that it outright rejects that Palestinian Authority and calls for a reinstatement of violent clauses that were removed from the Palestinian National Charter," Fogel noted in a mid-May statement.
The 1968 Palestinian National Charter (PNC), which is published on the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement website under its "Principles" section, calls for the destruction of the state of Israel through armed struggle and rejects Jewish national identity.
"Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine," says Article 9 of the PNC. "This it is the overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase. The Palestinian Arab people assert their absolute determination and firm resolution to continue their armed struggle and to work for an armed popular revolution for the liberation of their country and their return to it."
"Commando action constitutes the nucleus of the Palestinian popular liberation war."The 1968 Palestinian National Charter, Article 10
Barakat was the subject of debate in the Canadian Senate in early May after an expose by The National Post. Barakat, who resides in Vancouver, has been named by Israeli intelligence services as a leader of the PFLP, the Post’s Terry Glavin reported. He has also been described as such by Palestinian news outlets, and at times, on the PFLP website.
"While in Canada, Barakat has published articles in which he calls for targeted terrorist attacks to be carried out against Israel and other Zionist targets beyond the Middle East,” Canadian Senator Leo Housakos said during the debate. "The government needs to act immediately and deport Khaled Barakat.”
PFLP is recognized by Canada and Israel as a terrorist entity, and Israel has officially designated Samidoun as a PFLP front organization.
“The links between the PFLP, a listed terrorist entity in Canada, and Samidoun are clear. We are deeply troubled that the founder and leader of Samidoun, Khaled Barakat, and his wife Charlotte Kates are able to lead Samidoun from Canada with apparent impunity."Shimon Fogel, president and chief executive officer of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA)
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
Samidoun advocates for the release of convicted terrorists, such as Sa'adat, Georfes Abdallah and Marwan Barghouti. Last Saturday, Samidoun praised the release of Japanese Red Army (JRA) co-founder Fusako Shigenobu. The JRA committed the 1972 Lod Airport Massacre which killed 26 and injured dozens.
"Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network expresses its strongest support and solidarity to Fusako Shigenobu, internationalist prisoner of the Palestinian liberation struggle."Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
No response from Ottawa
CIJA said that it reached out to the city of Ottawa about the event a month ago, but the authorities took no action.
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson did not immediately respond to The Jerusalem Post's requests for comment.
ILPS describes itself as an organization that promotes and supports "anti-imperialist and democratic struggles of the peoples of the world."