Support for Palestinians a reason for lost Canada Conservative Party leadership race - Brown

Canadian politician Patrick Brown told a controversial activist that one of the reasons he had been disqualified for Conservative Party leadership was his support for Palestinians.

Police officers stand in line to separate protesters supporting the Palestinians from a small group of Israel supporters in front of city hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada May 15, 2021. (photo credit: REUTERS/CHRIS HELGREN)
Police officers stand in line to separate protesters supporting the Palestinians from a small group of Israel supporters in front of city hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada May 15, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/CHRIS HELGREN)

Due to his support for Palestinians, Canadian politician Patrick Brown lost his bid to become the leader of the Conservative Party, the ex-candidate said in an interview with controversial activist Firas al Najim on September 15.

In a recording shared by Canadian Defenders for Human Rights (CD4HR) leader al Najim, Bowman was asked by the activist: "Some people were saying that Mr. Patrick Brown would be unbiased, support the Palestinians, and try to work for some peace deal... He's not just going to be on one side like how the Conservative Party is. Is that what you were trying really to do?"

"Yeah, that's why I spoke out," responded Brown.

"Is that why you lost?" asked al Najim.

"It's one of the reasons," said Brown "I wouldn't say 'lost,' they didn't let us run. I think that the party was not prepared for the change I was bringing."

Brown explained that Canadians should oppose violence wherever it occurred and that his comments against "happened to Al Aqsa [Mosque] or the journalist [Shireen Abu Akleh], that ruffled feathers."

"These positions held by Mayor Brown were controversial in the party and may have contributed to the opposition of his candidacy from the party establishment."

Mayor Patrick Browns communication director, Gary Collins

One of the reasons Brown lost the leadership bid

Brown's communication director, Gary Collins, clarified to The Jerusalem Post that "many across Canada believe one of the reasons he [Brown] was disqualified was due to his strong positions on foreign policy which we're different than the Conservative Party establishment.

"He was the only candidate in the race who supported the government motion condemning islamophobia, denounced the violence at the Al Aqsa masjid (Mosque) in the Palestinian Territories and the genocide occurring in Yemen," said Collins. "He opposed moving the Canadian embassy in Israel.

"These positions held by Mayor Brown were controversial in the party and may have contributed to the opposition of his candidacy from the party establishment," Collins continued.

In May, Brown came under fire for his comments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Critics accused him of comparing Palestinian refugees to Ukrainian refugees, but a representative of Brown's said that he had never intended to make the comparison, and his comments had not been accurately represented.

 AN ISRAEL supporter faces off with a Palestinian supporter during a  protest in front of city hall in Toronto, May 15 (credit: CHRIS HELGREN/REUTERS) AN ISRAEL supporter faces off with a Palestinian supporter during a protest in front of city hall in Toronto, May 15 (credit: CHRIS HELGREN/REUTERS)
Conservative leadership race allegations

Brown, the mayor of Brampton, had run for leadership in the Conservative Party of Canada, which was ultimately won by Pierre Poilievre. Brown was disqualified in early July over allegations that city employees were working on his campaign during taxpayer-funded work hours, according to CTV News.

Later that month, the Conservative Party also alleged that Brown used money orders to purchase memberships and allowed non-compliant party membership sales. However, the Brampton integrity commissioner cleared the mayor of using city workers in his campaigning in August, CBC reported.

"Mayor Brown was disqualified for the Conservative leadership race based on incorrect claims on using paid staff as volunteers which he has now been cleared from by the integrity commissioner," Collins said to The Post.

A controversial Toronto activist

The recording of the conversation between Brown and al Najim was posted on Instagram and was accompanied by a photo of the two with a Palestinian flag behind them.

"The individual in this Instagram post approached Mayor Brown at a Palestinian Community fundraiser for the local hospital," said Collins. "Mayor Brown didn't know who he was but has since learned he holds views that Mayor Brown very much disagrees with. Mayor Brown vehemently disagrees with anyone who denies the right of Israel to exist. Mayor Brown has visited Israel and has great admiration for the resiliency, success, pluralism and democratic foundations of Israel. "

Al Najim has garnered controversy for his activism in Toronto. In mid-September, he dressed as an Orthodox Jew and harassed a Holocaust survivor about her positions on the state of Israel. In July, he was part of a group that had gone to protest at a shopping plaza with Kosher businesses after finding that no one had come to demonstrate against the 2022 Muslim Association of Canada Convention. MAC had invited several speakers who had previously expressed pro-terrorist and anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric.

Recently, Al Najim's posts have been focused on supporting the Iranian regime in their crackdown against what he calls "anti-hijab" actions and "attacks on the moral police."

He also claimed on Wednesday that the protests following the death of Mahsa Amini at the hands of Iran's morality police are a part of a "Zionist plot to try to destabilize" Iran.