An attack on pro-Palestine activists by lobby groups favouring the state of Israel took a violent turn in Canada over the weekend as the right-wing Jewish terrorist group the Jewish Defence League (JDL), took to the streets in an effort to bankrupt a Toronto food store and take away restaurant which has taking an anti-racist stance.
JDL thugs, allied with some of Canada’s more mainstream pro-Israel lobby groups, took part in what was described as a “hate fest” outside Foodbenders yesterday, following threats to burn the store down. In the ugly scenes that followed, JDL supporters defaced “Palestinian Lives Matter” written on the pavement. It was, said witnessed, reminiscent of what illegal Jewish settlers do to Palestinians and their homes in the occupied West Bank.
The far-right Jewish terrorists are also reported to have painted an Israeli flag on the shop window. The Star of David was painted on the storefront.
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Owner Kimberly Hawkins became a target of the pro-Israel lobby for taking an anti-racist stance in her announcement about its re-opening. “Open Now – 8 PM for non-racist shoppers #Bloordale #Bloorstreet, #Toronto, #Open, #ftp [f*ck the police] #FreePalestine and #ZionistsNotWelcome,” she said in an Instagram post.
Her comments triggered a backlash from anti-Palestinian groups. In the bevy of online abuse and threats, Hawkins was called a “dirty Palestinian whore” and told that “Palestine sucks I will burn your business down” and “I hope your family gets trapped inside the restaurant when it burns”.
Although the JDL — designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Centre and accused of carrying out acts of terrorism by the FBI — appeared to have been at the forefront of the more violent intimidation, Canada’s other prominent pro-Israel groups have also been involved.
B’nai B’rith, a pro-Israel organisation that claims to be concerned about human rights, is reported to have posted dozens of tweets about Foodbenders and different ways to bankrupt it. One statement called on its supporters to, “Contact [email protected] to request that Foodbenders have its business licence investigated. Be sure to mention section 27 of By-law No. 574-2000, which prohibits the use of a licensed business to ‘discriminate against any member of the public’ on grounds of ‘race, colour, or creed.’”
Over the past week the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) reportedly tweeted no less than 25 times about the business, which is known for supporting indigenous rights, Black Lives Matter and other social justice causes. “CIJA and associates have targeted Foodbenders’ delivery services, institutional customers, website host and social media accounts,” explained Montreal-based activist and author Yves Engler.
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Canada’s pro-Israel groups are even said to have succeeding in getting the Prime Minister, the Premier of Ontario, the Mayor of Toronto and numerous other politicians to denounce directly or indirectly the small business that has “I love Gaza” painted on its window.
Several other anti-Palestinian groups have put out dozens of tweets supporting efforts to bankrupt Hawkins.
The Israel-based International Legal Forum is said to have filed a complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario against the business owner. In what appears to be worrying signs indicating further misuse of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism, they are claiming that under its stipulations she should be charged with discrimination.
The IHRA controversially conflates legitimate criticism of Israel and its policies with racism against Jews.