Canadian authorities denied visas to at least 234 participants in World Social Forum (WSF), which is set to take place in Montreal from August 9 – 14, 2016, AFP reported. The majority of delegates were Africa and the Middle East, including Democratic Republic of Congo, Morocco, Iran and Nigeria, and included the president of the Palestinian postal union Imad Temiza.
According to B’nai Brith, a leading Canadian Jewish human rights organization, WSF is promoting anti-Semitism.
Aimed at uniting various far-left and anti-globalization civil society groups, the WSF lists on its “Partners” page the Government of Canada, the Province of Quebec and the City of Montreal among its sponsors, along with McGill University, Université de Québec à Montréal and Cégep du Vieux Montréal.
As part of the WSF, a workshop entitled “Terrorizm [sic], Wahabbism, Zionism”, organized by the Center of religious dialogue for peaceful coexistence, will be hosted by Seyed Ali Mousavi on August 12, 2016.
In a background information on the event which goes in line with the official policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the organizers accuse the “world Zionism-capitalism” of standing behind ISIS and Islamophobia. In addition, they implicitly justify the Palestinian armed struggle against Israel, including actions that are deemed by the West and international human right organizations as war crimes, crimes against humanity or terrorism.
Other events being hosted under the WSF umbrella include a workshop headlined by Diana Ralph, a leading Canadian conspiracy theorist who has blamed Israel for staging the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, as well as Ken Stone and Tyler Levitan, members of the radical anti-Israel organization “Independent Jewish Voices” (IJV), whom B’nai Brith called a “Jewish fig leaf for neo-Nazis and anti-Semites under the guise of radial anti-Zionism”.
IJV opposes the two-state solution and partners with organizations that actively try to remove terror groups like Hezbollah from Canada’s list of terrorist entities. IJV members often participate in joint demonstrations with a variety of radical Islamic and leftist anti-Israel groups, including the Islamic Society of York Region, Palestine House, Musulmanes Féministes Militantes, and the anti-Zionist and anti-gay Jewish fringe sect Naturei Karta who opposes the existence of the State of Israel.
IJV supports the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and the noxious Israel Apartheid Week which is held annually on Canadian campuses. It is on record having marched in demonstrations alongside anti-Israel activists who were yelling “Jews are our dogs,” and stood shoulder to shoulder with protesters carrying Khomeini placards at an anti-Israel rally in Toronto backed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In April 2016, Stone, a founding member of IJV, visited Syria in order to express his support for the Iran-propped Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians.
The conference also announced that it will exclude from participation “….all people, organizations and or activities that promote any kind of oppression, supporting the Palestinians and all the people struggling for emancipation and freedom”.
Ilana Shneider is the co-editor of CIJnews and the founding executive director of Canada-Israel Friendship Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the mutually beneficial, long-standing diplomatic, economic and cultural ties between Canada and Israel. She can be reached at [email protected]