TORONTO – Toronto Police officers are investigating allegations of hate speech after a speaker at a controversial anti-Israel rally said Jews must vacate that country or be shot dead.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), the group claiming to have complained to police, identified the speaker as Elias Hazineh.
The speech was made last Saturday at an annual Al-Quds Day rally at Queen’s Park.
The international event — started 34 years ago by Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini to mark the first Friday of Ramadan — is largely seen by those opposed to it as a yearly Islamist demonstration calling for the downfall of Israel.
Saturday’s event, held at Queen’s Park, featured the speaker who in video footage insists Jews must leave Israel’s heartland or face death.
The CIJA claims Hazineh is a former president of Palestine House, a GTA-based cultural centre that on its website talks of “the catastrophe in which Palestine was ethnically cleansed” by the creation of Israel.
“We have to give them an ultimatum,” Hazineh said in the video from Saturday’s rally. “When somebody tries to rob a bank, the police get in, they don’t negotiate … We say, ‘Get out or you are dead.’ We give them two minutes and then we start shooting and that is the only way they’ll understand.”