The status of a man living in Canada alleged to be a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist organization has become the topic of concern for the Canadian Jewish community and the subject of debate in the Canadian Senate after an exposé by The National Post.
Khalid Barakat, who resides in Vancouver, has been named by Israeli intelligence services as a leader of the PFLP, the Post’s Terry Glavin reported. Barakat has also been described as such by Palestinian news outlets, and at times, on the PFLP website. Supporters assert that he is a maligned Palestinian rights activist.
Debate in Canada’s senate
“Khalid Barakat has been barred from the United States, he has been barred from Germany, yet the Trudeau government still allows this individual to remain in Canada, despite a Canadian law that forbids any individual with connections to terrorist organizations from entering our country or receiving Canadian Citizenship,” said Sen. Leo Housakos in a debate with Sen. Marc Gold, the representative of the government in the Senate. “Why does your government allow him to remain in the country?”
According to Glavin, Barakat has been banned from Germany.
“I’m very aware of the person you described and the story that appeared in the press,” said Gold, who is Jewish and heavily involved in Jewish and Israeli Canadian affairs. “I cannot comment on specific cases such as the one you identified. But everyone who may be ordered to be removed remains entitled under our system of justice to due process before the law and are subject to many levels of review and appeal.”
Housakos, a member of the opposition Conservative Party, said, “I’m aware of this individual, you’re aware of this individual, I think it is high time that we make the government aware of the inherent dangers of this individual. Bnai Brith Canada has been raising this issue with your government for some time. They’ve provided intelligence about Barakat’s whereabouts in Canada as well as his involvement with this designated terrorist organization. While in Canada, Barakat has published articles in which he calls for targeted terrorist attacks to be carried out against Israel and other Zionist targets beyond the Middle East.”
Bnai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn said in a statement following the Senate discussion, “We have provided the government with credible and convincing information, yet we have had no response. The recent National Post story has made the situation even more critical and more alarming. The government needs to act immediately and deport Khaled Barakat.”
Housakos said in the Senate forum, “How is the Jewish community in Canada supposed to take seriously your government’s claim to be committed to fighting antisemitism if it allows this man to remain in Canada? Will your government do the right thing and order Barakat out of Canada? It’s not right, we have laws. Individuals of this nature should not be admitted into our country.”
Gold assured the public that the government takes the issue of antisemitism and allegations of this kind seriously.