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Pro-Israeli lobbies pressure Canada to expel Palestinian activist

Khaled Barakat, a Palestinian journalist and rights activist who resides in the Canadian city of Vancouver

Pro-Israel lobbies are escalating their demands on the Canadian government to expel a Palestinian journalist and activist on false charges of promoting Antisemitism.

Khaled Barakat, who lives in the Canadian city of Vancouver, has been accused by pro-Israeli lobbies, who sway great power in the North American country, of being anti-Semite and inciting attacks against Israel. He has already rejected all those charges.

Even Canadian daily the National Post has called on the government to deport the Palestinian journalist, alleging that he is linked to a Gaza-based NGO and a pro-Palestine NGO in Canada. However, the Canadian NGO, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, has rejected the assertion, noting that Barakat has been targeted by a smear campaign.

“This is a smear campaign and a racist campaign led by the right-wing in Canada, particularly the National Post, known for their stance [which is] pro-Israel and against Palestinians and Arabs,” Barakat said in an exclusive interview with Press TV on Thursday. “They want to divert the attention from what is happening in Canada and what is happening in Palestine.”

Barakat said student councils in four major Canadian universities recently voted to boycott Israel and to sanction Israel for the violation of Palestinian rights, adding that they called for the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea as well as decolonization of Palestine.

“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” is a slogan commonly featured in pro-Palestinian campaigns and chanted at demonstrations, signaling a call for a Palestinian state extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, the territory controlled by the Israeli regime.  

Stressing that there is “awareness” among young Canadian generations, especially young students and workers, the activist said, “They are supporting Palestinian rights and calling for the boycott of the apartheid racist regime of Israel; so, the Zionist lobby is trying to divert the attention from what is happening and to create this false story to scare the Canadian public and to tell them that you should be scared of this person who lives in Canada.”

Barakat told Press TV,  “Israel also wants to divert the attention from Palestine because of the crimes they commit on a daily basis against Palestinians and so they don’t want people to talk about this, but this campaign is a complete failure.”

The Palestinian journalist said the Israeli regime wants to use these tools of oppression “to silence our voice and to besiege Palestinians everywhere they go, whether they are in Gaza, in Lebanon or Canada.”

Barakat said Israelis want to stoke fear because fear is one of the tools that the Zionist regime has used all the time, adding that such measures will “not intimidate us and stop us as we are focusing on our campaign and intensifying our work more and more.”

Israel sharply escalated its deadly attacks against Palestinians in the run-up to the month of Ramadan and sustained the violence throughout the fasting month, stirring up anti-Tel Aviv sentiments further throughout the occupied territories.

The regime has also ramped up its violent attacks on Palestinian worshipers in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the occupied Old City of al-Quds in recent weeks.

Last week, thousands of people across the globe took to the streets on International Quds Day to deplore Israeli violence against Palestinians at al-Aqsa Mosque and elsewhere in the occupied territories.

Since last month, at least 25 Palestinians have been killed in attacks by Israeli forces across the occupied territories.

International Quds Day falls on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, during which rallies are held to keep alive the notion of resistance till the freedom of Palestine from the clutches of Zionist usurpers. Originally introduced by Iran, this year the day fell on April 29.

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