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‘Spirit of Hope’ draws war criminals to Toronto

By: 
Stephen Ellis

May 28, 2016

On May 26, 2016, about 100 feisty demonstrators from Actions4Palestine welcomed some of the planet’s biggest war criminals at the Metro Convention Centre.

The occasion was a fund-raising dinner sponsored by the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre for Holocaust Studies featuring the granddaddy of all war criminals, Henry Kissinger, former Israeli Prime Minister, Shimon Peres and former Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren. Without a hint of irony, the event was billed “to foster dialogue about some of the most relevant issues of the day, looks at the big questions including globalization, human rights, freedom and democracy, the Middle East and international affairs in an effort to make sense of the world in which we live.”   

Protesters shouted “arrest Kissinger!” and “Henry Kissinger, you can’t hide – we charge you with genocide!” Those attending the gala had to walk through the demonstration and were greeted with shouts of “shame”. As one organizer said, “we may not have stopped the dinner, but we certainly gave them indigestion.” 

Actions4Paletine provides the following short biographies of the guests of honour.

“Henry Kissinger…is responsible for massive blood-drenched crimes against humanity that swept across the Global South, from the operations of the Shah of Iran's secret police, the brutal Pinochet years in Chile, the secret US indiscriminate bombing of Cambodia & Laos, still murdering civilians *to this day,* the US's villainous Anti-Communist war against Vietnam and the entrenchment of apartheid in South Africa, amongst many other heinous crimes committed in East Timor and Bangladesh. 

Shimon Peres… whose extensive list of atrocities include serving in the Haganah, a Zionist Militia that massacred Palestinians during 1948-1952, the planning and execution of the Qana Massacre in Lebanon; the killing of Palestinians during the Aqsa uprising; involvement in the massacre of Jenin and gave the green light for Israel’s violent incursion against besieged Gaza in February of 2008.

Michael Oren… is also former Israeli Occupation soldier who served during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, served again as the Israeli Occupation Spokesperson during Israel’s barbaric assault on Lebanon in 2006, as well as a stint posturing as "media relations officer" during the massacre of over 1,200 Palestinians in Gaza in 2008-2009, where he disseminated war propaganda and whitewashed Israel’s crimes to major media outlets, globally.”

Demonstrators felt energised by the experienced and will surely be in attendance for next year’s gala.

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