Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ontario government approves anti-Israel rally

Jewish groups are decrying the approval of an anti-Israel rally on the grounds outside of Ontario's provincial capital.

A rally by an Islamic group marking International Al-Quds Day, a commemoration begun in 1979 by Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini to mark the last Friday of Ramadan, was approved by the sergeant-at-arms of Ontario's Legislature building in Toronto. The rally is scheduled for Aug. 18 on grounds that surround the building, known as Queen's Park.

Last year's rally heard from several speakers who called Israel an "apartheid state" of "oppressors and criminals." One speaker said, "I see that day when we, the Muslims, will march on Palestine and liberate Palestine ... under Islamic law."

Jewish groups say last year's event offended Canadian values and violated the park's terms of use. They say permission for this year's rally should have been denied because public spaces should not be used to voice anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiment. -- JTA

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