is CSIS reading anti-jihad blogs and websites?
Nazih Khatatba, the editor of Meshwar newspaper and the deputy chairman of the Mississuag-based Palestine, was recently visited by two CSIS officers who came “without notice” to his office at the Palestine House to discuss his “pro Hamas” articles and online postings.
The following is Khatatba’s editorial as appeared (originally in Arabic) on Meshwar (March 4, 2016, Issue 151, p. 5):
“A few days ago I was surprised to see two officers of the Canadian Intelligence [CSIS] visiting my Mississauga office. They wanted to meet me even without notice in order to get to know me in light of reports they received about the content of the newspaper [Meshwar], my comments and postings on Facebook.
“One of the officers noted that they have received reports accusing me of supporting Hamas movement and inciting violence and hatred. Just from the title [of the report] it is obvious that the authors of the report are the Jewish extremist organizations operating freely in Canada and striving in all means and ways to suppress the voices that oppose the policy of the Israeli occupation.
“I told the [female] Intelligence officer, who was very polite, that it is clear that you did not cross-check your report and investigation on me before your arrival [here] to visit me. I used to believe that you know every nook and cranny and nothing is hidden from you. I think that if you did that [cross-checking the veracity of the allegations mentioned in the report] you would have changed the decision to conduct the visit, as I’m a leftist and therefore it is impossible that I would concur with Hamas and with any ideological religious movement or organization, except on the issue of the struggle against the Israeli occupation.
“The common thread between us can be working to bring an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and to fulfil the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including its right to establish its independent state within the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.
“The Hamas movement is a part of the Palestinian social fabric, and therefore, and in spite of our differences politically and ideologically, we cannot but recognize it existence in this society. I’m, as a member of the media and as a journalist, exercising my right to express my views in a way that does not violate the law.
“I added that the author who sent you the report is known to us and I can inform you now about the content of hundreds of emails which were sent to me with a threatening message aimed at me if I do not stop slamming Israel. I responded to them in an editorial published by Toronto-based Meshwar newspaper and as an editor of this newspaper, that ‘You Will Never Succeed in Intimidating Us’.
“Therefore, as a message to them I reiterate through you that we will not stop slamming the policy of the Israeli occupation. We will not cease participating in the activities of the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] movement, as the occupation is the extreme expression of racist discrimination which not only spreads hatred but carries out a policy of genocide against Palestinian children and youths.
“She replied saying: Aren’t you afraid for your life? I said: I’m a journalist, I believe in my right to express my views, I’m familiar with the Canadian law and I don’t violate it.
“And so the meeting ended up and I’m sure that the case remains open, but I’m calm knowing that the new government introduced a Bill which amends the Citizenship Act and repeals several clauses fabricated by the previous Conservative government which granted the government the authority to revoke the Canadian citizenship of citizens with dual citizenship in case they are convicted of treason, terrorism or other crimes that go against the national interests and fabricated by the security services.”
In 2014, The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) submitted to Peel Region Police several complaints of possible hate crimes allegedly committed by Meshwar newspaper. The complaints documented cases of anti Jewish rhetoric including sympathizing with a terrorist attack (Jerusalem massacre), posting an article questioning the veracity of the Holocaust and a cartoon that depicted the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drinking the blood of Palestinian children. No charges have been laid against the Palestine House.
The Palestine House was de-funded in 2012 by the federal government for what then Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney referred to as a “pattern of support for extremism.”
Minister Kenney’s spokesperson said that “Palestine House has in the last few years aligned itself with terrorist causes, including celebrating the release of terrorists and honouring the founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), one of the groups that formed the Palestine Liberation Organization and in the 1960s and ’70s, was responsible for numerous armed attacks and aircraft hijackings.”
On October 14, the Palestine house posted on its official Facebook an invitation to its planned rally. The English version read the following: “In solidarity and support of the Struggle of the Palestinian peopleagainst the Israeli occupation and aggression.”
The Arabic version of the invitation mentioned the intifada: “Protest rally in solidarity and support ofPalestine Intifada (انتفاضة). In cooperation with solidarity movements with Palestine in the area of Toronto, the Palestine House invites you to to participate in the solidarity rally with al-Quds and Palestine Intifada (انتفاضة). It will take place on Friday October 16 at 6pm in front of the Israeli Consulate in Toronto.”
Nazih Khatatba and some other board members of the Palestine Hosued participated in the pro intifada demonstration which took place on October 16, 2015 in front of the Israeli Consulate in Toronto.
Dr. Nazih Khatatba in his own words
Nazih Khatatba, a board member of the Palestine House, advised al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Fatah movement, to change their policy and instead of uttering threats at Israel, to demand from Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President and the leader of the PLO and Fatah movement, to re-arm them. The following is Khatatba’s posting (originally in Arabic):
“Al-Aqsa Brigades [the military wing of Fatah movement lead by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] declared a general mobilization and warned the [Israeli] Occupation of attacking the President [Abbas]!!!!
“O brother, take him [Abbas] and keep him for yourself. I swear by Allah, do not be afraid as he [Abbas] under Israeli protection. Most importantly, ask him [Abbas] to return the weapons he took from you [al-Aqsa Brigades], and to instruct the operatives of the security forces that under his control not to arrest you.”
Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade (AAMB) was designated in 2003 by Canada as a terrorist organization and its status was reaffirmed in November 2014.
According to the Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, from September 13, 2015 to March 17, 2016 the number of people murdered in the Palestinian terrorist intifada reached 34 and 404 people were injured. The Palestinian new wave of terrorism included 206 stabbing attacks (including 66 attempted attacks), 83 shooting attacks and 42 vehicular (ramming) attacks in addition to firing rockets (from Gaza), detonating explosive charges, and many thousands incidents of stone throwing and firebombings.
Nazih Khatatba 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 his editorial titled “al-Quds Operation and the Quiet Intifada”, (Issue 118, November 28, 2014, page 5) Khatatba portrayed the massacre of 4 rabbis in Jerusalem by Palestinian terrorists who killed their victims with meat cleavers as a “courageous and qualitative” operation. One of the victims was Howie Rothman, an Israeli Canadian, was died of hiswounds a year after he was struck in his head and neck with a cleaver.
On the same day the Jerusalem massacre occurred, Khatatba harshly criticized the Palestinian President for issuing an official announcement condemning (however faintly) the attack.
A few days prior to the Jerusalem massacre, Khatatba justified the ‘run-over’ and stabbing attacks against Israeli Jews and overtly supported launching a Palestinian armed Intifada (war) against Israel.
In a editorial (Meshwar, Issue 106, June 13, 2014, P. 5), Khatatba called the Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in Israeli jail “freedom prisoners” and “freedom fighters”, even though many of them were convicted (and confessed) of terror-related crimes, including murder of civilians.
For one of his editorials (Meshwar, Issue 103, May 2, 2014, p. 5), Khatatba chose the following heading: “Al-Aqsa [Mosque] and [the City of] al-Quds [Jerusalem] are in need for mujahideen [jihad fighters], not tourists.”
In his editorial (Meshwar, Issue 85, August 23, 2013, page 5), Khatatba criticized Hamas for abandoning the confrontation with Israel. “We sided with Hamas and defended it to the point that we in Meshwar newspaper were during the last war on Gaza subject to a campaign and pressure of the Canadian Jewish organizations [apparently referring to the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs – CIJA] because of this position,” wrote Khatatba.
“We were not deterred as Hamas was confronting Israel, not [meaning we did took this position] because of the blackness of its eyes or its extremist practices. We placed the confrontation with Israel above any other consideration. We ignored everything for the sake of this confrontation. However, the situation has changed, as Hamas is not anymore interested in [confronting] Israel… Hamas has to deal with its destiny by its own and we will not sympathize with it.”
In a previous op-ed (Meshwar, volume 66, November 30, 2012, page 8), Khatatba expressed his support of Hamas and other Palestinian organizations that took part in a war with Israel, during which thousands of rockets and mortar shells were launched from the Gaza strip toward Israeli communities.
“It is essential to add this achievement (note: the article was published prior to the UN recognition of Palestine as a non member observer state) to the triumph that the resistance in Gaza has achieved due to its firm endurance and launching of hundreds of rockets on Israeli cities. These rockets dented Israel’s deterrence and created a new reality, that no one can deny, principally the Palestinian leadership, of the role of the popular and military resistance to improve the conditions in any future negotiations with Israel,” Khatatba wrote.
“The unyielding fortitude and victory that Gaza achieved would not have materialized without the unconstrained help of Iran, Syria and Hizballah, who provided weaponry, rockets, training and financing… The Palestinian resistance should speak out loud and clear and not be afraid to express gratitude to Iran, Syria and Hizballah…”
Dr. Nazih Khatatba has recently praised In his editorial on Meshwar (Issue 146, December 24, 2015, p. 6) the Lebanese terrorist Samir Quntar who was killed in an Israeli airstrike for his “bold offensive operation” in 1979 during which he murdered an Israeli civilian and smashed the head of his 4 year-old daughter on beach rocks and crushed her skull with the butt of his rifle.
He maintained that Quntar’s decision to join the ranks of Hezbollah should not be condemned as he intended to “continue the armed struggle” against Israel and “started working for establishing a movement that will fight for the liberation of the occupied Golan Heights as a prelude for liberating all Palestine.”
Khatataba wrote, “Dear Sirs, tell us what is wrong about it [Quntar decision to join Hezbollah for continuing the armed struggle against Israel]? If such a man sacrificed his period of adolescence and later his life for fighting the Israeli occupation, for the sake of the holy sites of the [Islamic] nation and faith and was developing plans for fighting [is not considered a fighter], who is [eligible] to be deemed a fighter, and who is [eligible] to be considered martyr!!!!…”
“Dear Sirs, Dear distinguished people, no. Samir Quntar does not need from you to give him the eligibility for martyrdom, honour and patriotism, as he did not change and remained eager to become a martyr for the sake of Palestine. His compass did not deviate from Palestine and from regarding Israel as the prime and the only enemy of the Palestinians and Arabs and as a constant threat to the future of their countries. Anyone who fights the Israeli occupation is a martyr who is eligible for this title regardless his nationality, ideology, religion or faith.”
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