TheJ.ca - End Jew Hatred Report: Canada Must Stop Facilitating Terror, Remove Samidoun
A 2019 report from Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, “Terrorists in Suits: The Ties Between NGOs Promoting BDS and Terrorist Organizations,” describes Khaled Barakat as a “central committee member of the PFLP and the solidarity campaign coordinator for the release of PFLP general secretary Ahmad Sa’adat, one of the planners of the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi.” (Screenshot: YouTube)
(The report below has been sent on November 16 to every federal MP and every provincial and territorial MPP and all Senators. This is a regular report prepared by Doris Epstein, a volunteer with End Jew Hatred Canada.)
Since March 2021, Samidoun has been registered as a not for profit organization in Canada. Samidoun, the “Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network”, is based in Vancouver and has chapters, affiliates and links around the world. They claim to advocate for innocent prisoners incarcerated in Israel’s jails. They never say that most of the prisoners are convicted terrorists, on the pay roll for Palestinian Authority President Abbas’s pay for slay program.
Samidoun is affiliated directly, with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, PFLP, a listed terrorist entity in Canada. They have been staging anti- Israel events here that are demonstrably and clearly detrimental to Canadian interests and values.
Samidoun’s Europe Coordinator, Mohammed Khatib said at a demonstration in Brussels in October, “Defeating Israel means defeating the US, defeating Israel means defeating Canada: this settlement that exists on the basis of the Indigenous people and the Black People.” They also raise funds, run advocacy programs and organize events on university campuses.
In February, 2021, Israel, designated Samidoun a terrorist organization and identified it as an arm of the PFLP. A press statement added that Samidoun was founded by “members of the PFLP in2012 …and serves as a front for the PFLP abroad.“ The group spreads hatred towards Israel, claiming Israel is an apartheid state – a false claim that often results in attacks on Jews outside of Israel, Canada included. Samidoun is part of a radical movement urging cultural and economic boycotts (BDS), a strategy that has been called antisemitic by the Prime Minister of Canada.
Here in Canada, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, CIJA, calls it “a security threat” and demands that the Canadian government list it as a” terrorist entity.
“The links between the PFLP, a listed terrorist entity in Canada and Samidoun are clear,” CIJA stated. We reiterate our calls …to list Samidoun as a terrorist entity.”
Running the show is Khaled Baraket, a high ranking member of the PFLP, which among other atrocities was responsible for the 2014 massacre at a Jerusalem synagogue that left several congregants severely injured and five dead, including Torontonian, Rabbi Howie Rothman.
Fifty one year old Baraket has lived in Canada for nearly 20 years and presently resides in Vancouver. His wife Charlotte, an American citizen, is listed as Canada’s resident director of Samidoun. A New York Times article revealed that she was a Communist Party member at age 13 and later an anti-Zionist activist who justified suicide bombings and talked about wiping Israel off the map.
Columnist Terry Glavin has written extensively on Baraket in the National Post and has no doubt about his leadership in Samidoun. “His activities identify him as a key operative in the organization,” he wrote.
Yet for years, Barakat has been traveling freely and speaking at rallies and meetings across Canada. Europe as well. In 2019, in Germany, he was deported for his violent, antisemitic rhetoric. Last month, Samidoun’s partner organization in France, the Collectif Palestine Vaincra, was disbanded by President Macron under French security law banning groups that “provoke discrimination, hatred or violence based on ethnicity, nationality, race or religion and engage in acts that incite terrorism.”
He was in Madrid last October, to help organize the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement conference, bringing together militants who reject the Palestinian Authority’s cooperation with Israel and are for “resistance by any means necessary” as directed by the PFLP. The PFLP’s main financial and political backers are nowadays Syria’s Bashar Assad, Khomeinist Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, according to Glavin.
In February last year Israel designated Samidoun a terrorist organization and stated that Barakat is central to Samidoun’s operations. “Representatives of the organization are active in many countries in Europe and North America, led by Khaled Barakat, who is part of the leadership of PFLP abroad.”
Three days later on March 3 2021, Samidoun was formerly registered by Canada as a not for profit organization.
Immediately after Glavin’s story appeared online, B’nai Brith Canada delivered a statement: “Canada’s dirty secret is finally out. For more than two years, the Government of Canada has allowed a senior member of an antisemitic terror group to roam freely, contrary to Canadian law”.
On January 13th, B’nai Brith CEO, Michael Mostyn sent a letter to PM Trudeau, declaring that Ottawa’s inattention was “inexcusable” and that Samidoun’s registry should be revoked and the organization dissolved.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, CIJA, also responded. “The links between the PFLP, a listed terrorist entity in Canada and Samidoun are clear. We reiterate our calls…to list Samidoun as a terrorist entity.”
Melissa Lantsman is the Member of Parliament for #Thornhill and Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. (Screencap: Twitter)
On November 3, Thornhill MP Melissa Lantsman posed a few questions to the Government:
With regard to the government’s response to recent media reports that the registered not-for-profit entity Samidoun has ties to entities that the government has listed as terrorist entities, including the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP):
(a) when did Public Safety Canada (PS) first become aware of Samidoun’s ties to the PFLP, and what specific actions, if any, did PS take after they became aware;
(b) when did PS first become aware that events hosted by Samidoun glorified terrorist and armed militants from the PFLP and other designated terrorist entities, and what specific actions, if any, did PS take after they became aware;
(c) when did PS first become aware that Samidoun was raising money for (i) the Union of Health Work Committees, (ii) other entities tied to the PFLP, broken down by each entity;
(d) when did PS and the Canada Border Services Agency become aware that the Samidoun organizers, who currently reside in the Vancouver area, have been (i) denied entry to the European Union, (ii) deported from the United States; and
(e) what actions, if any, is the government taking to ensure that Canadians are safe from the threat posed by Samidoun, including whether or not the government will be listing Samidoun as a terrorist entity?
A report issued November 15, 2022, The Global Samidoun Network, provides examples of the activities of major Samidoun chapters and activists in Europe and North America. In Canada, there are chapters in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver.
Antisemitism is on the upsurge in Canada, becoming mainstream and unapologetically visible. Jews are much more likely to be the target of hate crimes in this country than Aboriginals, Blacks, Muslims, or any other group according to Statistics Canada data. Organizations like Samidoun ,operating with impunity, are contributors and a threat to all Canadians. They must be shut down and their leaders stripped of all authority and expelled.
(These reports are produced for End Jew Hatred, a grassroots civil rights movement of the Jewish people, powered by the Canadian Antisemitism Education Foundation and are reprinted with permission.)
Born in Hamilton, Doris has many years of experience as a multimedia journalist. She has worked in radio, television and print journalism and written on a variety of topics especially the crucial issues in Canadian and Jewish life today. She is also Co Chair of the Canadian Institute of Jewish Research in Toronto.