Toronto, the multicultural capital of Canada, continues to have the honour to hold the largest Quds Day rally in North America.
This year was no exception.
Thousands of people from all walks of life and faiths gathered outside the US Consulate in Toronto for the annual Quds Day rally on April 15.
Speakers at the event included the Human Rights lawyer Stephen Ellis, Charlotte Kates of Samidoun and Khaled Barakat of the Masar Badil among others.
True to their pro-Israeli bias, the Canadian mainstream media did not give any coverage to the rally attended by thousands of people.
If even 10 people participate in a pro-Israel event, this is given widespread coverage. Participants are interviewed and reporters fall over themselves to see who can be more pro-Israel.
With the Quds rally, the situation is completely reversed. Despite huge participation, there is no coverage.
That, however, does not mean that the Quds Rally had no support.
It was endorsed by the Greater Toronto Committee for BDS, Neturei Karta International (NKI), Students Movement for Palestine, Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement Pour Une Paix Juste, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, Oakville Palestinian Rights Association, Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War and Socialist Action among others.
Two distinctive features of the Toronto Quds Day rally are the participation of a large number of youth and people of other faiths including Christians and Jews.
Representatives of Neturei Karta International are always present.
Their participation belies the canard peddled by the pro-Israel lobby and its few so-called ‘Muslim’ puppets that Quds Day rallies promote anti-Semitism.
While claiming to be defenders of human rights, pro-Israeli groups are at the forefront of spreading Islamophobia.
Their other lie is that the zionist state of Israel represents all Jews worldwide.
The fact that many Jewish intellectuals, activists and others oppose the apartheid regime of Israel is clear proof that the pro-Israeli groups are involved in massive deception.
Besides, the vast majority of Jewish people reject the claim that Israel speaks on their behalf or represents them.
Unable to defend the barbaric practices of the zionist regime—who can defend the cold-blooded murder of Palestinian children and attacks on Masjid al Aqsa while Muslims are praying there in the month of Ramadan?—pro-Israeli groups resort to lies and vile propaganda.
The Quds Day rallies are an effective tool to expose such lies.
And Toronto’s Quds Day rally has done this for many years.
By inviting human rights activists and defenders of freedom, it has demonstrated that Quds Day rallies are about the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people and their right to a life of dignity and honour.
The theme for this year’s Quds Day rally was appropriately chosen to be: ‘End anti-Palestinian racism in Canada’.
With pro-Israeli groups are in the forefront of spreading anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim hatred, Toronto’s Quds Day rally responded forcefully in exposing their racist agenda.
From the US Consulate, the rally marched through the streets of Toronto going past Toronto City Hall and returned back to the US Consulate for more speeches and slogans.
In the past, politicians at Toronto City Hall have spouted anti-Muslim venom while pro-Israeli groups have attempted to get the Quds Day rally banned.
Imagine these self-proclaimed champions of human rights opposing a rally that has a record of being the most peaceful and most inclusive of any rallies ever held in Canada.
With City Hall convulsed in its own internal problems following the resignation of mayor John Tory, there was no overt opposition to the Quds Day rally.
Tory was involved in disgraceful conduct by having an extra-marital affair with a staffer half his age.
When the story broke out, Tory had to resign to avoid further exposure of his salacious affair.
Did his wife threaten to sue him for divorce?
Adultery certainly constitutes ground for divorce even in western societies where sexual misconduct is widespread.
Beyond Tory’s travails, there is nothing in the law that prevents people from holding a rally in support of the Palestinian people and the liberation of al-Quds.
That, of course, is a point lost on the pro-Israeli groups.
Or, they deliberately ignore it trying to blackmail politicians to dance to their tune.
Quds Day rally organizers in Toronto have stood their ground while operating strictly within the law.
Even the Toronto police have admitted that the Quds Day rallies are completely peaceful.
They have refused to surrender to the illegal demands of the zionist lobby or the cowardly politicians that dance to the zionists’ tune.
Not surprisingly, at this year’s Quds rally, the barbaric practices of the zionist occupation regime were highlighted by several speakers and condemned by the participants.
In recent months, the zionist occupiers of Palestine have intensified their oppression and killings of Palestinians.
True to their violent nature, the zionists have in the past attacked peaceful participants at the Quds Day rally while zionist organizations have indulged in their customary practice of making false allegations.
In addition to Toronto, Quds Day rallies were also held in Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and a number of other cities.
In the US, too, Quds Day rallies were held in Washington DC, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles etc.