Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry

Recent Developments

Ontario Attorney General rules that man calling for Jews in Jerusalem to 'get out or be shot' at large rally didn't commit hate crime

3/2/2014- "In Canada, the Ontario Attorney General (AG) has decided that an anti-Israel activist who called for all Jews living in Israel, and particularly in Jerusalem, to either "get out or be shot" while at a large anti-Israel rally in Toronto did not commit a hate crime. Last August, Elias Hazineh, the former President of Toronto's "Palestine House", spoke at the annual Al-Quds Day rally in Toronto. Speaking before hundreds of people, Hazineh threatened Jews living in Israel: "We say get out or you are dead. We give them two minutes and then we start shooting and that’s the only way they'll understand!" Hazineh also quoted from the Koran: "and prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war." The verse details the military preparations for jihad holy war against the "infidels", i.e. non-Muslims. But advocating violent ethnic-cleansing and encouraging the murder of Jews did not constitute racism or a hate crime according to the AG. 

Video from the event shows some of Hazineh's speech to the crowd: Al-Quds Day has been marked annually around the world since 1979, when it was established by Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini to express support for “the liberation of Jerusalem" by Muslim forces and to call for the destruction of the State of Israel. The rally in question saw around 300 extremists - including Shia Islamists and the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect - wave Iranian and Hezbollah flags during the march. Frank Dimant, B'nai Brith Canada CEO, responded to the decision not to pursue hate crime charges, saying "it seems that we have sadly grown accustomed to hearing hateful rhetoric spewed at these pro-Iranian-regime, anti-Israel events. As we have noted, Al-Quds Day, a now annual event, is a route by which Canadians are being exposed to the radical and hateful ideologies of the late Ayatollah Khomeini and the banned terrorist group Hezbollah." “Having met previously with the Federal Minister of Justice to discuss cross-Canada guidelines for the laying of hate crime charges, we now look forward to meeting with the Ontario AG to gain some insight into their decision-making process on this matter and discuss current provincial guidelines," added Dimant. 

The decision calls to mind a Winnipeg provincial court judge, who in early January ruled that a 2011 altercation at a local high school, in which a student lit a 15-year-old Jewish student's hair on fire with a lighter while saying "let's burn the Jew," was not a hate crime. But the ramifications of growing extremism and support for terrorism in Canada are difficult to ignore. Last Monday the Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS) presented a report to the parliament in Ottowa detailing the security threat posed by Canadians traveling to Syria and other Arab countries to join Al Qaeda-linked groups, and later returning to commit terror attacks. Just last December hundreds of anti-Israel activists protested outside the MetroToronto Convention Center, where the Jewish National Fund (JNF) was holding its annual fundraising gala Negev dinner."
© Arutz Sheva http://www.israelnationalnews.com/

Sep 10, 2013- "The Quebec government has released its proposals and rationale for a controversial charter of Quebec values, a key element of the Parti Québécois's election platform last fall. Citing the "obligation to remain independent of religious authority," the draft documents say the government will legislate, for the first time, a firm separation of religion and state and will curtail "religious accommodations. But there are several measures the government is not proposing, which has fuelled critics who say the PQ is using the language of inclusiveness and equality to couch an attack on immigrants and non-Catholics. 

Here are five things the charter would do, and five things it would not:


  1. Bar public sector employees — including everyone from civil servants to teachers, provincial court judges, daycare workers, police, health-care personnel, municipal employees and university staff — from wearing a hijab, turban, kippa, large visible crucifix or other "ostentatious" religious symbols while on the job. 
  2. Allow five-year opt-outs from the ban for certain organizations, but not daycare workers or elementary school teachers.
  3. Require that those receiving or providing government services uncover their faces.
  4. Exempt elected members of the Quebec legislature from the regulations.
  5. Amend Quebec's human rights legislation, the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, to specify limits on when someone can stake a claim for religious accommodation.  


  1. Remove religious symbols and elements considered "emblematic of Quebec's cultural heritage." That includes: the crucifixes in the Quebec legislature and atop Mount Royal in Montreal, the thousands of religiously based geographic names (e.g. Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!) and the names of schools and hospitals.
  2. Ban public sector employees from wearing small religious symbols like a ring with a Star of David, earrings with the Muslim crescent or a necklace with a small crucifix.
  3. Eliminate subsidies to religious private schools. The Quebec government currently funds about 60 per cent of the budgets of most of the province's private schools, including parochial ones.
  4. Ban opening prayers at municipal council meetings, which was recommended by the 2008 Bouchard-Taylor Commission report into cultural accommodation. The Quebec Court of Appeal ruled in May that such prayers do not necessarily violate Quebec's current human rights legislation.
  5. Eliminate property tax exemptions for churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious buildings."



14 september, 2013- "Thousands of people, many wearing religious headgear, marched through downtown Montreal on Saturday to denounce Quebec's proposed charter of values, which would bar public employees from wearing overt religious symbols in schools, hospitals and elsewhere in their line of work. 

The protest gathered in Place Ã‰milie-Gamelin and then headed west for more than two kilometres through downtown to Place du Canada.

Hijabs, turbans, yarmulkes and larger-than-average crucifixes all fall under the proposed ban, which was unveiled by the Parti Québécois government of Premier Pauline Marois earlier this week and which sparked a heated debate in Quebec and across Canada."