Ayman Odeh, a controversial Haifa-born Israeli Arab Member of Knesset (MK) who heads the anti-Zionist United Arab List faction, will be a guest of honour at Palestine House in Mississauga, Ontario at an event to mark “Land Day” on Saturday, April 9th.
On March 7, 2016 Odeh and his predominantly Arab Joint List came under fire from both the Israeli political left and right for supporting Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite terror group, after Balad and Hadash, two Arab parties which make up the factions of the Joint List which Odeh heads, formally condemned the decision by a number of Arab countries to list Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. The condemnation said that the move came “in the service of [Israeli] occupation and the continued occupation of Arab land.”
Even Zehava Galon, leader of the radical leftist Meretz party, slammed the Arab politicians by writing the following on her Facebook page (originally in Hebrew): “The decision made by Balad and Hadash to advocate against the designation of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization is a moral slump. Hezbollah is a murderous and fundamentalist organization which systematically exerts indiscriminate violence. This is an organization which is responsible for the killing of many dozens of Israelis and killing innocent Syrians at the service of Assad on a daily basis. I have zero sympathy to the Saudis who promoted the decision regarding Hezbollah and whose hands are also stained with blood not less [than Hezbollah]. However, this cannot explain the insistence of Israeli parties to defend an organization that cherishes the death and declares that its goal is to annihilate the State of Israel and to slaughter Israeli citizens. Shame.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu mocked the Arab MKs’ support for Hezbollah as “amazing,” noting that Israeli Arabs are as much of a Hezbollah target as Israeli Jews. “[Hezbollah] wants to destroy the country, you’re citizens of the state; you’re in the state. Did you fall and hurt your heads?”
Odeh, who claims to be the “moderate” voice of the Israeli Arabs, also supports the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. At the Haaretz Q conference in New York last December, when asked about BDS, Odeh responded, “First, I would like to salute the people who are working on BDS, I think this really puts Israel on the spot in world public opinion.” And in October 2015 during an interview on Army Radio, Odeh said that he supported the first Intifada (a violent Palestinian uprising which lasted from 1987 to 1991), which in his opinion was “fully justified” because of the “occupation. The first Intifada claimed the lives of 160 Israeli men, women and children.
After the most recent Israeli elections, during the inaugural session in which the newly elected MKs were sworn in, Odeh, an Israeli citizen who enjoys all the privileges afforded to him by the State, including an opportunity to be elected to the Israeli Knesset, refused to sing the national anthem, later saying “I chose to… stand in silence. That was my protest against an anthem which does not represent me, which for me is the symbol of exclusion.”
Odeh and other radical anti-Zionist Arab Israeli MK’s were heavily criticized by Ali Salem, the Arab Mayor of Nazareth, Israel’s most populous Arab city, for their role in violent demonstrations in October 2015. Salem told Army Radio at that time that he blames the Arab leaders. “They [Arab MK’s] are destroying our future, they are destroying coexistence”.
Palestine House, which represents the Canadian Palestinian community, rejects Israel’s right to exist, demands the so-called “right of return” – the flooding into Israel of millions of “Diaspora” Palestinians – which will effectively end the existence of the Jewish State.
Its leaders praised Palestinians who carried out attacks against Israelis and expressed support to the Palestinian Intifada (also known as the al-Quds Intifada or the Knife Intifada) – the most recent wave of Palestinian terrorism which since September 31, 2015 left 34 people dead and 394 people (including 4 Palestinians injured). During this period there have been 201 stabbings and attempted stabbing attacks, 81 shootings, and 41 vehicular (ramming) attacks. Some of the victims of Palestinian terrorism include an Israeli mother of 6 who was stabbed in front of her children, an Israeli couple who were shot in front of their children, an American war veteran who was stabbed while on a school trip to Israel, as well as a rabbi who was murdered in front of his wife and children, soldiers, tourists and peace activists. The youngest Palestinian terrorist to carry out a stabbing attack was 13 a year old boy, and the oldest was a 50 year old female.
In 2012, Palestine House was de-funded by the federal government for a “pattern of support for extremism.” The decision to de-fund Palestine House was prompted, in part, by a gathering hosted by Palestine House which celebrated the release of hundreds of terrorists from Israeli prisons, as well as an event honouring Dr. George Habash, founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The PFLP is one of the groups forming the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) which in the 1960s and 1970s was responsible for numerous armed attacks and aircraft hijackings.
In 2014, The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) submitted several complaints of possible hate crimes allegedly committed by Meshwar newspaper which operates out of Palestine House to Peel Region Police. The complaints documented cases of anti-Jewish rhetoric including sympathizing with the 2014 terrorist attack in Jerusalem, posting an article questioning the veracity of the Holocaust and a cartoon which depicted the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a vampire drinking blood of Palestinian children.
Nazih Khatatba, the editor of Meshwar and a senior Palestine House board member, openly sympathizes with the Palestinian “struggle” which includes activities and operations that are deemed by Israel, US, Canada and the West as acts of terrorism. In an editorial titled “al-Quds Operation and the Quiet Intifada” published on November 28, 2014, Khatatba portrayed the horrific massacre of 4 rabbis in a Jerusalem synagogue by Palestinian terrorists who hacked their victims to death with meat cleavers as a “courageous and qualitative” operation. One of the victims was Howie Rothman, an Israeli Canadian, was died of his wounds a year after he was struck in his head and neck with a cleaver.
Khatatba also praised the Lebanese terrorist Samir Quntar who was killed in an Israeli airstrike last December for his “bold offensive operation”. What Khatatba called a “bold offensive operation” was a savage 1979 terrorist attack which shook the world, during which Quntar murdered an Israeli civilian and crushed the skull of his 4 year-old daughter with the butt of his rifle.
On January 19, 2016 members of Palestine House and their children celebrated the 14th birthday of Ahmad Naser, a Palestinian terrorist who, together with his cousin, went on a random stabbing spree in Jerusalem and critically injured two Israelis, including a 13 year old Jewish boy. Palestine House called for Naser’s immediate release from an Israeli prison. The birthday cake baked in honor of the Palestinian child terrorist said: “Happy Birthday. Freedom for Ahmed Nasser, a 13 year old who was shot and imprisoned behind bars in Israeli hands.”
Palestine House recently “honoured” Palestinian who carried out attacks against Israelis. On Saturday, February 20, 2016, during a demonstration in downtown Toronto, several dozens of anti-Israel activists, including senior board members of Palestine House and their children held a rally during which they held pictures of Palestinian “martyrs” who they claimed were “executed” by Israel. CIJnews research department was able to conclusively verify that most of the so-called “martyrs” were, in fact, terrorists, including Hamas and Fatah operatives, who were killed while trying to carry out terrorist attacks against Israelis or during violent clashes with the IDF.