Stop Mainstream Media Vilification of Palestinian Activists

Stop Mainstream Media Vilification of Palestinian Activists

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Elias Ayoub started this petition to The Toronto Star

After a successful demonstration on Al-Quds Day in Toronto, The Toronto Star published an article vilifying supporters of Palestine. It's delegitimizing for The Toronto Star to run an article that is not based on truth and which claims Palestinian activists are being "anti-Semitic" and are participating in "hate speech" for simply existing and resisting. 

Below is a message meant to be sent to the Star in defence of our rights for free speech, and specifically, our rights to criticize Israeli apartheid and occupation. 

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The Star Editor, Editorial Board and Publisher:


We, the undersigned, believe that The Star's publication of Rosie DiManno's "Jeers and Loathing on University Avenue" June 2, 2019 constitutes hate speech that has caused irreparable damage both to the future of these rallies as well as to our Charter rights to assemble and describe the Palestinian plight freely.

Many of the Al Quds Day supporters who tried to stop Toronto City Hall and Queen's Park from blocking the Al Quds Day rally this year wondered why legislators -- who had never attended these events -- were prepared to curtail our rights of speech and assembly due to a spurious claim that these rallies were "anti-Semitic" "hate speech". They must have been influenced by deceitful coverage like that of Rosie DiManno's.

DiManno's description of the Al Quds Day rally constitutes hate speech that vilifies and delegitimizes Palestinians and their supporters.

The rally was dignified and respectful, as usual, despite the disruptive noise from the pro-Israel side; there was no "anti-Semitic rap" unless it came from the Jewish Defense League (which was proven to have smeared Al Quds rallies in the past with such antics.) The "toxic stew of venom" and "mutual loathing" seems to have emanated from Dimanno herself, who was clearly enraged at the point of the protest: "Quds Day [is] slim veneer for hatred of Jews. ... "the anti-Israel cabal ... can twist the hate out of hatred by justifying it as legitimate condemnation of Israel. You know, that sliver of democracy in the Middle East." She claims the rally's supporters were hate-filled, anti-Semites despite obvious Jewish support which included a rabbi, a Holocaust survivor and Hasidic Jews (who attend as a "religious obligation").

The interfaith Al Quds Day rallies are important public events that provide a window on how Palestinians are surviving Israel's (largely censored) ongoing 71-year military occupation, genocidal treatment, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, 13-year siege of Gaza, and constant military attacks. Speakers suggest nonviolent ways toward attaining permanent peace. Despite calls by the World Council of Churches and the United Church of Canada for similar annual meetings, these are the only such events held in Toronto.

We are disappointed that The Star would publish such irresponsible vilification of those connected to Al Quds Day. Abusive opinion pieces that delegitimize the Palestinian cause and impact our right to speak out are not acceptable.

We would like The Star to publish an apology to the organizers of the Al Quds Day rallies with copies to both Toronto City Councillors and to Premier Doug Ford and Queen's Park MPPs .

Signed

 

 

The article in question: https://www.thestar.com/opinion/star-columnists/2019/06/01/jeers-and-loathing-on-university-ave.html

 

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