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November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Canada Condemns PA Terror Kidnapping, But Obama’s Silent

Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Canada has firmly condemned last week’s Palestinian Authority terrorist kidnapping  of three teenage boys but U.S. President Barack Obama has yet to say a word about the attack — even though one of the hostages is an American citizen.

The boys are students at the Makor Chaim yeshiva high school at Kfar Etzion in Gush Etzion. They were apparently abducted somewhere near the Judean town of Alon Shevut, about 15 minutes south of Jerusalem.

Palestinian Authority Unity Government Arabs starting passing out candies and other sweets in the streets of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, to celebrate the attack after hearing about the kidnapping.

Palestinian Unity Government Arabs celebrate the kidnapping of 3 Jewish boys.

Palestinian Unity Government Arabs in Gaza celebrate the kidnapping of 3 Jewish boys.

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird issued the statement Saturday night, strongly condemning the kidnapping and reminding the PA in no uncertain terms that its paramilitary forces were trained, equipped and armed by Canada and the U.S.

“Canada is deeply concerned by reports that three Israeli teenagers may have been kidnapped in the West Bank and condemns those aiming to instigate conflict.

“We urge the Palestinian security authorities, who have been trained through Canadian and U.S. leadership, to make every effort to investigate this incident and work diligently to ensure the safe return of these children to their families.

“We call for the immediate release of the three Israeli teenagers. Whoever has taken this action must be found and brought to justice,” Baird said.

While Canada was unequivocal in its public condemnation of the terror attack on the three innocent teens, Israel’s “best friend” — the United States — has remained silent on the issue. The White House has made no public statement whatsoever, and the State Department restricted itself to a phone conversation between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Following is the transcript of the terse dialogue that took place between reporters and the State Department spokesperson as journalists tried to make sense of United States actions in the wake of the terrorist attack on the three boys Thursday night, especially given that one of kidnapped teens was an American citizen.

QUESTION: And last one, and this is in the Middle East. There’s reports coming out of the West Bank that there’s – three teens were kidnapped, and one of them is an American citizen. Do you have anything on that?

MS. HARF: We are aware – of course seen the reports, are very concerned for their well-being. The Secretary a short while ago expressed his concern in a meeting with Tzipi Livni in London and also has spoken with President Abbas this morning about it as well.

We are working with the Government of Israel and with the Palestinian Authority to try to ensure the situation is resolved quickly, and that the three teenagers are safely reunited with their families. I can’t confirm citizenship at this point.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: Did you – the Israelis say that the Palestinian Authority has – is responsible for their –

MS. HARF: I don’t have a readout of those conversations.

QUESTION: No, no, no. I understand that, but the Israelis are holding – say that the PA is responsible for their – these – the safety of these three teenagers.

MS. HARF: Well –

QUESTION: Do you share that?

MS. HARF: What we know is the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority are working closely together on efforts to find the three teenagers and to hopefully bring a quick resolution to the matter, and of course giving this cooperation our full encouragement.

QUESTION: But you don’t think that the PA –

MS. HARF: I don’t have more. I don’t have anything more on this, Matt.

QUESTION: Okay, all right. The Israelis also say that they told Ambassador Shapiro, right?

MS. HARF: Yes, Ambassador Shapiro.

QUESTION: Ambassador Shapiro, yes – about the one who has American citizenship. Can you confirm if there was a conversation between him and the Israelis about one of the three, regardless of whether you can confirm –

MS. HARF: I’m sure Ambassador Shapiro has been in contact on this.

QUESTION: All right.

For the record, the Fatah faction led by Mahmoud Abbas — who heads the Palestinian Authority Unity Government — has called on shopkeepers in Judea and Samaria via its official Facebook page to destroy their CCTV security camera footage in order to sabotage the IDF’s efforts to rescue the kidnapped teenagers and hunt down the terrorists who attacked them.

If the United States believes that handing out sweets to celebrate the kidnapping of Jewish children by terrorists and destroying security film footage to foil their rescue is evidence of how the new Palestinian Authority Unity Government “works closely together” with the Israeli government to find and rescue the kidnapped teens,  there’s a bridge for sale in Brooklyn. At a bargain price.

Canada Bans Hamas Fundraisers

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Canada’s Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness has banned a Muslim charity that officials believe has funnelled more than C$15 million (US $13.7 million) to Hamas.

Lawyers for the International Relief Fund for Afflicted and Needy (IRFAN-Canada) slammed the decision, which now makes it a criminal offence “to knowingly deal in the property or finances of this entity.” 

“On its face, we believe it is an unfair and unconstitutional decision,” Ottawa-based lawyer Yavar Hameed told Canada’s National Post daily. 

The decision to ban the terror-financing group came after Royal Canadian Mounted Police raided IRFAN’s headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario, as well as a private residence in Montreal. Police officials told the newspaper,  “an extensive amount of documentary evidence along with stored media, money and other records were seized.”

In recent years, Canada has emerged in recent years as a consistently strong voice against terrorism, and as one of Israel’s staunches friends on the international stage. Knesset members greeted Prime Minister Stephen Harper with a standing ovation during his speech to Israel’s parliament during a state visit to Jerusalem in January. Then, he addressed the Knesset and pledged Canada’s ongoing support for the Jewish state. 

“Through fire and water, Canada will stand with you,” Harper said, and proceeded to accuse critics of Israel as “moral relativists” who criticise Israel unfairly “to go along (in order) to get along.” 

Perhaps the greatest testimony to Canada’s demonstrated commitment to support for Israel and to fighting terrorism came from Arab MK Ahmed Tibi, a former advisor to the late PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. Tibi heckled Harper during his speech, and eventually stormed out of the Knesset plenum in protest.

Security expert David Harris, director of the International and Terrorist Intelligence Program of INSIGNIS Strategic Research, told the Canadian Jewish News that the move “suggests yet another situation in which Canada was vulnerable… as a kind of repository for extremist and related activity.”

“It bears noting that if between 2005 and 2009, $14.6 million was channelled to inappropriate recipients associated with Hamas, that seems to be an indictment of the delay… Given the amount of harm it could cause, it should give us pause,” Harris said.
 

Ryerson U. Student Union Passes Symbolic Vote to Join BDS

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

The student union of Ryerson University in Toronto voted to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement aimed at Israel, but the university said it will ignore the non-binding decision.

“The student union is a corporation independent of the university, we have to be clear there,” said Michael Forbes, a spokesperson for Ryerson and quoted by the Canadian National Post. “The university does not support a boycott. We don’t support divestment, nor do we support sanctions against Israel. We’ve been consistent on this point.”

Students at the University of Windsor and York University also have voted to join BDS.

The vote at Ryerson was passed amid jeers and boos at Jewish students who walked out in protest, holding as sign stating, “Hate off Campus.”

Canada Arrests Seven Lev Tahor Sect Members Arrested In Raid

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

A dozen Canadian border security officials raided the compound of the fringe Haredi Orthodox sect Lev Tahor Wednesday and arrested seven members believed to be in violation of immigration laws.

Two families in the Lev Tahor community are at the center of an ongoing child custody case, including one family who fled to Guatemala, the Canadian Press reported.

One Lev Tahor man was seen being driven away in handcuffs. One witness said she saw immigration officials trying to enter a building where Lev Tahor children are believed to be housed. “I can hear the children crying and praying,” the source said.

Last month, 14 children and several Lev Tahor adults fled Canada ahead of an appeal of an Ontario court order mandating that the children be placed in the care of children’s aid in Quebec. Eight of the children made it to Trinidad and Tobago, where they were taken into custody and returned to Canada. Two more children taken into custody in Calgary also were removed from the sect.

The rest are in limbo in Guatemala, their original destination.

This week, a lawyer for one Lev Tahor family removed himself from the case.

About 250 members of the community fled Quebec last fall just before officials could seize some of the children. Child welfare officials said they had evidence of abuse, squalid living conditions, underage marriages and substandard education.

Lev Tahor members maintain they are being persecuted for their strict religious beliefs.

Israel and Canada to Collaborate on Nuclear Terror Prevention

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

After their meeting at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague this week, Israel’s Minister of Intelligence Affairs Dr. Yuval Steinitz and Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird announced the launching of a joint project to develop technologies for identifying the source of nuclear terror attacks.

The technology identifies the origin of the nuclear material, implicating the provider of these hazardous materials to terror groups. The development of such technologies is an imperative step in the international war on nuclear terror, as Minister Steinitz explained: “Due to terror threats in the Middle East and worldwide, developing technology to detect the source of a nuclear attack has become of the outmost significance. These detection abilities will serve as a deterrent for countries who might consider collaborating with terror groups using a nuclear bomb in a terror plot.” Minister Baird remarked that “the nuclear terror threat currently remains one of the most significant challenges to national security. The cooperation between Israel and Canada will aid Middle Eastern and other countries to pursue terrorists who are involved in illegal terror related trade.”

This project will be executed as part of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terror (GICNT), an international partnership of 85 nations and four observers who are committed to working to implement a set of shared nuclear security principles, of which Canada and Israel are members. The project, one of over 50 multilateral activities, will be funded by Canada.

Canadian Politician Irwin Cotler ‘Honored’ to be Banned by Russia

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Irwin Cotler, a veteran human rights activist and member of Canada’s parliament,  says being banned from Russia is an “honor.”

When Russia issued its blacklist of 13 Canadians on Monday, Cotler was quick to express his pleasure at being included. ”I wear my exclusion from Russia as a badge of honor and am proud to be in such distinguished company,” he said in a statement. “I have no intention of visiting Siberia. I have no investments in Sochi. I have no desire to visit Moscow.”

This is not the first time Cotler, renowned for representing Jewish refuseniks from the Soviet era, has been banned from Russian soil.

He was expelled from the Soviet Union and then banned in 1979 while advocating on behalf of political prisoners, including Natan Sharansky. “I was arrested and accused of consorting with ‘criminals,’ among them the great Soviet human rights dissident, Andrei Sakharov,” Cotler wrote on his website. “These acts did not stop my human rights advocacy. Indeed, [Monday's] announcement only inspires me to redouble my efforts to advance the cause of human rights for all.

“I stand in solidarity with the Russian people and those fighting for human rights and democracy. Their day will come and [President Vladimir] Putin will be no more.”

This time, Cotler suspects his banishment is because he introduced a bill regarding Sergei Magnitsky. The Huffington Post reported that Magnitsky was an accountant and auditor in Moscow who uncovered a corruption scheme and testified against several senior Russian officials. He was subsequently imprisoned and died in jail in 2009 at the age of 37. Cotler chairs an intra-parliamentary group on Magnitsky, and he said that is like a “red flag” to Russia.

“My sense is that’s probably the retaliatory reason in my case,” according to Cotler.

He said some of the Americans banned by Russia were people who had worked on the Magnitsky file. Cotler added he does not need to go to Russia to advocate for Magnitsky.

“Our intra-parliamentary group for Sergei Magnitsky is international. It contains parliamentarians from over 20 countries.”

Canadian Court Orders Seizure of Iranian Assets for Terror Victims

Monday, March 24th, 2014

An Ontario court has ordered the seizure of more than $7 million in assets belonging to Iran to compensate American victims of terror.

The historic ruling last week brought to an end several lawsuits filed in Canada by terror victims from the United States seeking damages from Iran for training, arming and financing the Hamas and Hezbollah terror groups.

The Americans previously were awarded damages by U.S. courts but could not collect from any Iranian government assets in the United States. They came to Canada for enforcement, which was made possible by Ottawa’s passage in 2012 of the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act. The law strips state immunity in civil lawsuits from countries deemed to be “supporting terrorism.”

The Ontario court ordered sheriffs to seize one bank account worth $1.47 million controlled by an Iranian diplomat, and another with a balance of $511,000 controlled by Iran’s charge d’affaires in Ottawa.

The evidence “overwhelmingly” established that the money in the accounts was the property of Iran, the judge ruled.

Also to be sold, with the proceeds going to the victims, are a building in Toronto valued at $1.1 million and another in Ottawa valued at $3.9 million. Both facilities operated as ostensible cultural centers. The judge noted there was evidence that the Ottawa property was owned by a front group linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, which is “hardly a cultural or charitable organization.”

The plaintiffs in the case, believed to be the first of its kind in Canada, were Edward Tracy and the family of Joseph Cicippio. Both U.S. men were captured and held hostage in Beirut from 1986 to 1991.

“I’m surprised. I’m shocked that we’ve gotten this far after all these years,” Cicippio told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Cicippio’s family was awarded $91 million in damages in 2005 but could not collect in the United States. Tracy won a judgment of $18.5 million in 2003.

It is expected that other victims of terror in separate cases, including a Canadian dentist wounded in a 1997 Hamas suicide bombing in Jerusalem, and three other American families will share in the proceeds as part of a side deal worked out among lawyers.

The other Americans suing in Canada were Alann Steen, who was abducted in Beirut in 1987 and held for nearly five years; the family of David Jacobsen, who was kidnapped in 1985 and released 17 months later; and the family of Marla Bennett, a California student killed in a 2002 bombing attack by Hamas at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

All won sizable awards in U.S. courts but could not collect.

Over the weekend, Iran’s state-controlled media blasted the Canadian ruling as “politically motivated” and of “no legal value.” No representative of the country attended the court hearing.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/canadian-court-orders-seizure-of-iranian-assets-for-terror-victims/2014/03/24/

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