Pro-Israel activists who arrived in Montreal on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 to protest against an “antisemitic” conference were physically attacked by radical leftists minutes before the police arrived and separated the two groups.
The protest against the World Social Forum (WSF) was organized by the Jewish Defence League of Canada (JDL) which focuses its activity on fighting antisemitism in Canada.
According to B’nai Brith, a leading Canadian Jewish human rights organization, WSF is promoting anti-Semitism. As part of the WSF program, a workshop entitled “Terrorizm [sic], Wahabbism, Zionism”, organized by the Center of religious dialogue for peaceful coexistence, was set to be hosted by Seyed Ali Mousavi on August 12, 2016.
In a background information on the event which goes in line with the official policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the organizers accused the “world Zionism-capitalism” of standing behind ISIS and Islamophobia. In addition, they implicitly justified the Palestinian armed struggle against Israel, including actions that are deemed by the West and international human right organizations to be war crimes, crimes against humanity or terrorism.
Just as the protesters parked their vehicles and prepared to walk towards the venue in which the World Social Forum conference was taking place, they were spotted by leftist activists affiliated with the Solidarity Across Borders Anti-Racist Response Committee (SAB Antifa).
An eyewitness told CIJnews that Meir Weinstein, JDL’s National Director in Canada, was punched in the face, a woman was shoved and another woman scratched. The rival camps stayed at the same place chanting slogans. The police did not allow the pro-Israel protesters to advance towards the conference’s venue and advised them to arrive at a police station to file a complaint on the assault.
The “anti JDL” demonstration was endorsed, among others, by Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU), the Anti-Racist Resistance Collective (CRAM), Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR Concordia), Independent Jewish Voices Canada, QPIRG Concordia, BDS-Québec, Anti-Fascist Action Montreal, Lezboï, Montreal Sisterhood, Dure Réalité, Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR McGill).