Canada: how low can the ruling class go to slander Palestine solidarity?

Once again, bourgeois politicians and media are raising a hue and cry over pro-Palestine protests. This time, it’s over a protest that supposedly took place outside of Toronto’s Mount Sinai hospital. Media have reported on Justin Trudeau’s condemnation, “The demonstration at Mount Sinai Hospital yesterday was reprehensible.” There’s only one problem—the story is made up. There’s no depths that the ruling class won’t stoop to to smear the Palestine solidarity movement and shield their ongoing support for mass murder.

[Originally published at]

With the noose of the Israeli army tightening around Rafah, emergency rallies have been organized worldwide. In Toronto, on the evening of Feb. 12, approximately 2,000 protesters gathered outside the Israeli consulate, chanting “Stop the siege on Rafah now,” and “Stop the bombing, stop killing our children”. The protest marched through the downtown, past the provincial legislature at Queen’s Park, and down towards the U.S. consulate on University Avenue. During the march, a few scattered protesters climbed on surrounding structures to wave Palestinian flags—most notably, one individual dressed up as Spider-Man (possibly the same Spider-Man known to frequent Yonge-Dundas Square).

By the end of the day on Feb. 13, every political leader in Canada had posted their condemnation of the demonstration on X—based on an entirely fabricated story that the protest had targeted Mount Sinai Hospital, a hospital founded by the Jewish community 100 years ago, that happens to be a few blocks up the street from the U.S. consulate.

“Hospitals are places for treatment and care, not protests and intimidation,” Justin Trudeau posted. This apparently does not apply to hospitals in Gaza, over half of which have been destroyed, and the rest severely disabled. Trudeau is perfectly happy to support the targeting of those hospitals, having authorized $28.5 million in new military exports to Israel since Oct. 7.

Toronto’s “left” mayor Olivia Chow responded, saying “A hospital is a sanctuary, a place of healing for all… Yesterday’s actions at Mount Sinai Hospital, a hospital founded by Toronto’s Jewish community, were unacceptable.” What is acceptable to Chow is Toronto police assaulting protesters, as she recently did an about-face on police funding, deciding to give to give Toronto Police Services all the money they want to crack down on demonstrations.

Leader of the Ontario Liberals Bonnie Crombie went a step further, elaborating on the tale: “I’ve been torn up by the accounts of protestors infiltrating[!] Mount Sinai Hospital, intimidating[!!] Jewish patients and doctors, and threatening our already weakened[!!!] healthcare system.” This is an entirely fanciful claim. The idea that Mount Sinai hospital only employs and serves Jewish people is itself bizarre. One might also ask—which political party is responsible for the decades of cuts that left Ontario healthcare in its weakened state? (It’s the Liberals).

Federal leader of the NDP Jagmeet Singh joined the chorus, posting, “Yesterday, the Mount Sinai Hospital was targeted because of its ties to the Jewish community in Toronto. This is not okay[!]. Hospitals are a place for healing – not a target for protests.” Singh is just as milquetoast in his betrayal of the Palestine movement—a movement that used to have a home in the NDP—as he is with everything else. If it were true that 2,000 people descended on a hospital, that would be a little more than “not okay.” But Singh can rest assured, because that’s not what happened, and he is simply spreading the same slanders of anti-Semitism that have been used to smear Palestine solidarity from the beginning. What is okay to Singh, is continuing to prop up a government that funds and covers for genocide.

Despite the fact that the replies to these posts are flooded with people who were at the protest setting the record straight, Canadian media has picked up the story with zero regard for facts. Media outlets have uniformly led with headlines denouncing the protests, and few so much as mention the protest organizers’ account of events. To paraphrase Trotsky, the bourgeois press tells the truth 90 per cent of the time, so that they can outright lie when they need to. When it comes to events surrounding Palestine, the press is quickly burning up its credibility with outright lies.

Moreover, these lies are irresponsible and dangerous. The campaign of slander against Palestine solidarity has also been a campaign to convince the general population, and Jewish people in particular, that they have something to fear from protesters and Palestinians. They’re creating a situation tailor-made to give rise to hate crimes, all in the name of covering for the crimes of Israel. When Marxists talk about the bourgeoisie encouraging discrimination and ethnic divisions for their own ends, this is a perfect example.

Now, the Toronto police are saying that they will investigate protesters. Police have been complaining for some time that they don’t have enough power to deal with protests, so they are sure to use this opportunity to the best of their ability. This will just be the latest in a series of spurious attacks on the Palestine movement, like the arrests of the “Peace 11”, and multiple attempts to shut down solidarity on university campuses. In the face of repression, we must be prepared to stand defiant, that is the only way to inspire others and strengthen the movement.

What is also clear is that if we want a political party that actually supports the cause of the oppressed, the cause of Palestine, then we need to build one ourselves. Every party that exists in Canada has betrayed the Palestinians. At bottom, it is because all of them accept the capitalist system, which means accepting the rule of the imperialists and their interests. The spinelessness and shameful acceptance by the NDP leaders of the lies and slanders over Palestine is a reflection of their utter inability to stand up to the ruling class in general. The only way to consistently fight for a free Palestine is to fight against capitalism—which is why we need a Revolutionary Communist Party.

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