Toronto (October 11, 2023) – Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) strongly condemns social media posts and statements shared by CUPE Ontario and CUPE Local 3906 in recent days, which have glorified the horrific atrocities by Palestinian terrorists against Israelis, spread falsehoods about Israel and peddled baseless conspiracy theories about the Jewish community.
On Saturday, as the world was learning more about the barbaric murders and kidnappings of innocent Israeli civilians and other war crimes by Hamas invaders, CUPE Local 3906 reposted on social media a video of a bulldozer breaking the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip. The Ontario union added the message “Palestine is rising, long live the resistance,” as if to justify the slaughter of babies, children, women and the elderly, rape, torture and mutilation of dead bodies. The re-post further quoted a notorious Palestinian Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist, Ghassan Kanafani.
While the re-post has since been removed following outrage by the Jewish community and other Canadians, CUPE Local 3906 issued a statement yesterday doubling down on its comment, spreading false claims of Israeli “apartheid” that have “given rise to the struggle we are seeing now.”
CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn joined in publishing despicably insensitive comments on social media. In an October 8 post, he declared he’s “thankful for the power of resistance around the globe” and “resistance is fruitful…resistance brings progress.” Another social media post by Hahn hours earlier stated it is “fact” that “pogroms against Palestinians” are to blame for Hamas’s murderous assault on Israel.
Statements issued yesterday by both CUPE Ontario and CUPE Local 3906 spread the conspiracy of a “pro-Israel lobby” or “Zionist lobby” controlling the narrative, with CUPE Ontario accusing Jewish groups of intimidating “any person or organization that fails to comply with its agenda” and rejecting “any attempt or even reference to context, nuance or appeal to even-handedness in the history of Israel/Palestine.”
“At a time of one of the darkest moments in contemporary Jewish life, when we need our allies and all Canadians to stand in solidarity with the Israeli people against a genocidal terror group, the repugnant posts and statements by the CUPE organization, including its Ontario president, Fred Hahn, are deplorable,” said FSWC President and CEO Michael Levitt. “We demand an unequivocal apology from CUPE Local 3906, CUPE Ontario and, most certainly, their president Fred Hahn, who must step down from his role immediately.”