TORONTO — A Palestinian community leader in Toronto said Israelis should be given a two-minute warning before being shot.
Addressing the annual Al-Quds Day rally on Saturday, Elias Hazineh, the former president of Palestine House in suburban Toronto, called for “an ultimatum” to Israelis: “You have to leave Jerusalem. You have to leave Palestine.
“We say get out or you’re dead! We give them two minutes and then we start shooting. And that’s the only way that they will understand,” Hazineh said to cheers from a crowd of approximately 400.
Video footage appears to show Hazineh saying "We have to give them an ultimatum. You have to leave Jerusalem. You have to leave Palestine…When somebody tries to rob a bank the police get in, they don't negotiate and we have been negotiating with them for 65 years. We say get out or you are dead. We give them two minutes and then we start shooting and that's the only way they'll understand."
In response, Shimon Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said,
"It is disgusting and outrageous that a speaker at a rally in Canada would call for the murder of Jews in Israel. This is a hideously new low for Al-Quds Day – and speaks to the reason why it was necessary for Queen's Park to refuse the protest access to the Legislature's grounds. We are forwarding the information we have received to the Toronto Police Service for their review, in order to determine whether the statements made by the speaker constitute a violation of the Criminal Code of Canada. At the same time, we call on our fellow Canadians to recognize and condemn this incident for what it is: vicious ant-Semitism that has no place in our country."
The annual rally took place at a park near the grounds of the Ontario capital building. Last week, the sergeant-at-arms of the Legislature denied a permit to hold the rally on the grounds surrounding the building for reasons of “public safety.”
The move was applauded by Jewish groups, which have monitored previous Al-Quds Day rallies in Toronto.
A global Al-Quds Day was started by the late Iranian cleric Ayatollah Khomeini to press for the “liberation” of Al-Quds, the Arabic name for Jerusalem.
Khomeini “reminded us that Jerusalem is ours and will remain forever ours,” Hazineh added.
Last year, the federal government cut funding to Palestine House, which had offered newcomer settlement and language instruction services, because of what Ottawa called the cultural center’s “pattern of support for extremism.”