On September 15, 2009, Jonathan Kay of the National Post reported that Palestine House is the real organization behind the Toronto Declaration. His explanation is based on the discovery that the media contact number that was used for the Toronto Declaration was also used for several pro-Palestine events, including the Toronto protests against Israel's assault on Gaza. While this story is filled with lies and absurd accusations, it is true that the same number has been used as a media contact for all these events - I should know because it is my phone.
I am a Jewish-Canadian who is involved in the Palestine solidarity movement in Toronto. Despite Kay's accusations, I am not affiliated with Palestine House, the Canadian Arab Federation or The Palestinian Authority. I have however, on various occasions, offered the use of my extra cell phone as a media contact for local events that I happen to support.
The real issue behind this newest attack on the Toronto Declaration and Palestine House is that there are those in this country, including Jonathan Kay and Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney, who believe that nobody, especially Arabs, have the right to talk about Palestine in Canada. Kenney made headlines in March when he pulled funding from the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF), because of CAF's involvement in protests against Israel's assault on Gaza. Jonathan Kay is now hoping that Kenney will do the same to Palestine House. If Kenney decides to go after Palestine House for taking a position in support of Palestine, then the state of freedom of speech in this country is far worse than I imagined.
- Jenny Peto