Independent Jewish Voices defends Toronto teacher who called for “liberation of all Palestine”

Tyler Levitan, campaign coordinator of an anti-Israel group Independent Jewish Voices-Canada (IJV), came to the defence of a Toronto teacher that is being investigated by the Toronto police and the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board for comments made at a Iran-backed Al-Quds Day rally in Toronto on July 2, 2016.

At the rally, Nadia Shoufani – who is affiliated with the Palestine Solidarity Movement and Actions4Palestine and is a director at the Arab Canadian Cultural Association – glorified Palestinian “martyrs” who were killed in the struggle against Israel and supported the “resistance by all means possible”.

“Glory to the martyrs”, Shoufani hollered into the megaphone to a crowd of radical Islamists and far-left anti-Israel activists. “Victory, freedom to the prisoners and liberation for the Palestinians, all Palestinians From the river [Jordan River] to the sea [Mediterranean Sea] Palestine will be free.”

On her Facebook page, she openly expressed her support for the Palestinian uprising (intifada). During theal-Quds/ Knife Intifada terrorists murdered 40 Israelis and foreigners and injured 511 people in 155 stabbing attacks, 96 shootings, 45 car ramming attacks, one bus bombing and hundreds of firebombing and rock throwing attacks.

She urged her followers to “join us in activities supporting the [Palestinian] intifada… Humiliate them. They all worth [not more than] the shoe of every fighter and every martyr”.

She also called Samir Kuntar, a Lebanese terrorist, who murdered four Israelis, including a 4 year old girlby crushing her head against a rock, “one of the heroes of my land” and a “fierce fighter” who has the “glory and pride of martyrdom”.

In an email to Minnesota-based Mint Press News, Levitan said that “Ms Shoufani was speaking passionately in support of the Palestinians’ right to defend themselves against an occupying power”.

He also backed Shoufani’s support for the Palestinian struggle “in any form possible” and for liberation of “all Palestine” (meaning the destruction of the State of Israel).

“Under international law, those living under military occupation and a system of colonialism have the absolute right to resist”, Levitan continued in his email. “Ms Shoufani spoke as a defender of the rights of an occupied and besieged people to resist an obscenely violent and criminal military occupation over their lands.”

Members of IJV have a long history of headlining the annual anti-Israel al-Quds Day hate rally at Queen’s Park. An investigation by B’nai Brith uncovered that IJV previously posted on their Twitter and Facebook accounts links to an article on anti-Semitic, white supremacist hate site called Veterans Today.

IJV – whom B’nai Brith CEO Michael Mostyn called a “Jewish fig leaf for neo-Nazis and anti-Semites under the guise of radial anti-Zionism” – previously posted on their Twitter and Facebook accounts links to an article on an anti-Semitic, white supremacist hate site called Veterans Today.

On April 17, 2014, IJV participated in a “Palestinian Political Prisoners’ Day” vigil organized by Palestine House, which itself was defunded by the previous Conservative government for its “pattern of support for extremism”. During a rally in front of the Israeli Consulate, the demonstrators demanded the immediate release of all Palestinian prisoners, many of whom are convicted terrorists.

In April 2016, Ken Stone, a founding member of IJV, visited Syria in order to express his support for the Iran-propped Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians.

A month later, Stone delivered a speech on behalf of IJV to honour the murderous Ayatollah Khomeini, praising the founder of Iran’s current Islamic regime as a “fierce opponent of Zionism,” but a “friend” to Iran’s Jewish community and a “liberator and reformer of the masses.”

IJV also took part in a rally organized by The Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid (CAIA) on July 30, 2014 at Dundas Square in Toronto to protest against “Israel’s war crimes and Canadian support for these massacres” and in support of the Palestinian struggle. During the rally, Issam al-Yamani, Executive Director of Palestine House and member of CAIA’s Coordinating Committee, called for launching a third Palestinian Intifada (violent uprising) in Palestine and the Palestinian Diaspora, which implicitly includes Canada.

According to The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, IJV opposes the two-state solution and partners with organizations that actively try to remove terror groups like Hezbollah from Canada’s list of terrorist entities.

IJV members often participate in joint demonstrations with a variety of radical Islamic and leftist anti-Israel groups, including the Islamic Society of York Region, Palestine House, Musulmanes Féministes Militantes, and the anti-Zionist and anti-gay Jewish fringe sect Naturei Karta who opposes the existence of the State of Israel.

IJV supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and the noxious Israel Apartheid Week which is held annually on Canadian campuses. It is on record having marched in demonstrations alongside anti-Israel activists who were yelling “Jews are our dogs,” and stood shoulder to shoulder with protesters carrying Khomeini placards at an anti-Israel rally backed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

On October 23, 2015, during an anti-Israel rally in Vancouver, one member of IJV expressed her support for the most recent Palestinian intifada and even went on to say that she would advise her “comrades” to do “far worse than the mostly young Palestinians of Jerusalem have done so far.”

On February 20, 2016, IJV took part in an anti-Israel rally with members of Palestine House in downtown Toronto. The protesters held pictures of the so-called “martyrs” of the Palestinian Knife Intifada and accused Israel of “executing” those “martyrs”.

The CIJnews research team conducted a thorough search of the names of all the Palestinians whose photos were carried by the protesters and found that almost all of them were killed while carrying out stabbing or car ramming attacks against Israelis or during violent clashes with the IDF during the Intifada, and that some of them were known operatives of Hamas and its military wing al-Qassam Martyrs Brigades, both of which are designated as terrorist organizations by the Canadian government.

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