Douglas Murray draws big crowd in Toronto for anti-extremism speaking event

'I think everybody knows the challenges [Canada] faces on the question of Israel and many other questions, but this has got to be in the hands of the people,' the British commentator told Rebel News.

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Last night we were at one of the largest synagogue's in the Greater Toronto Area. It's a more conservative-leaning synagogue, and is more pro-Israel and therefore skeptical of Canada's approach under Justin Trudeau to most things, especially towards Hamas in recent months.

Remember, it was Trudeau who received a thank-you video from Hamas for backing a ceasefire.

The reason that we were there was because Douglas Murray, the famous British commentator and skeptic of many things we ought to be skeptical of, was speaking.

If you're unfamiliar with his work, he's written books about the immigration wave that is bringing illiberal ideas to Europe. And after the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel, Douglas Murray went to Israel to report on the war, rebutting the pro-Hamas, pro-terror narrative.

We heard rumours there would be pro-Hamas protesters at the event, but when we arrived there was not one in sight.

Instead, we went inside and had a chance to some of the people we saw.

We spoke to a woman who was seated next to a person who was ejected from a Toronto Raptors NBA game for wearing a shirt calling for the release of Israeli hostages taken on Oct. 7.

Leora Shemesh, a criminal defence lawyer and Raptors season-ticket holder, said she gifted her colleague the sweater. 

A Star of David on the front of the sweater caught a security guard's attention, Shemesh shockingly said.

“She said 'oh I think it's like a flag,' and we tried to remind her that it's not exactly a flag, it's a Jewish symbol,” she told us. “And the manager comes and says, 'listen, we're not allowing any political messages.'”

The complaint, Shemesh said, was ironic given the players were wearing Black Lives Matter apparel prior to the game's tipoff.

“He kept saying it's because of the war, so I think from their perspective they're trying to keep all that's related to the war outside the arena. But to be quite frank, it's a message that doesn't fall under the umbrella of a political message.”

And although we were at a Jewish synagogue, there was a lot of people from the Persian community at the event. While people may think Muslims and Jews are at odds, many Persians despise the theocratic fascism of Iran's ayatollahs.

We spoke to Avideh Motmaen-Far, the Conservative Party's candidate for the nearby Oakville North-Burlington riding. We asked her why she thought Justin Trudeau is so unwilling to put Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on the terror entity list after the group was found responsible for shooting down Flight PS725.

“It is just not understandable why they have killed 55 Canadian citizens. If he doesn't stand up for Canadians now, when would he?” she said.

Of course, we did get to put a few questions to the man of the hour, Douglas Murray.

We asked his thoughts on how the rest of the world looks at Canada in regards to its relationship with Israel these days.

“We all get the leaders we vote for, and therefore the leaders we deserve,” he said. “I think everybody knows the challenges [Canada] faces on the question of Israel and many other questions, but this has got to be in the hands of the people.”

He also shared his thoughts on whether he thought Britain was still safe for Jews, after residents have voiced concerns and the government has directed more funding for security. 

“Yes, but it's tense,” he said. Describing how this isn't a sign of a “happy society,” he said this wouldn't be tolerated from other groups:

If there were marches in the centre of London every week, and there were some people — even just some people — saying we should eradicate everyone who's black, that march would be stopped. There would not be a second march, or a third.

And the people who were on the first march when they knew what they were involved with would not go back in the second week if they were decent people.

With no protesters in sight, about 1,200 people filled up the synagogue for Murray's event.

It was a diverse crowd, a reminder that the noisy people in the streets aren't representative of everyone. Don't believe that every new Canadian or every Muslim is on Hamas's side, as we saw plenty of Persian Canadians and others stand with Israel, stand with Canada, stand with peace and stand with freedom.

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