TORONTO: A Jewish advocacy group called Monday for an apology from an Ontario New Democrat who tweeted in support of a member of a terrorist group.
Joel Harden, who represents Ottawa Centre in the provincial legislature, tweeted last week about the treatment of a senior official with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which Canada has listed as a terrorist entity.
“Saddened, sickened and disgusted by the continued abuse of Khalida Jarrar, my parliamentary colleague, by Israeli occupation forces,” Harden wrote.
He urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to demand her immediate release.
The family of Khalida Jarrar, a former Palestinian lawmaker, says Israeli authorities have rearrested her just months after she was released from being in detention without charges for 20 months.
In 2015, she served 15 months after being convicted of incitement to violence and “promoting terror activities.”
The Canadian government’s terrorist listing says the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s goals are the destruction of the State of Israel and the establishment of a communist government in Palestine. It says the group is responsible for hijacking civilian airliners, suicide bombers, car bombings, mortar strikes and for the first assassination of a cabinet minister in Israel’s history.
The CEO of B’nai Brith Canada questioned how the Jewish community in Canada can feel safe when politicians here commiserate with a senior official of that group.
“It is appalling that an elected official would call for the release of a leader of what Canada rightly acknowledges as an antisemitic terrorist group,” Michael Mostyn said in a statement.
The NDP’s provincial secretary said the party denounces terrorism in any form.
“Like most people around the world, we hope for a peaceful and sustainable negotiated resolution to the conflict in the region, and a lasting peace that respects human rights,” Lucy Watson said in a statement.