On June 26, 2020 around 150 people gathered in front of the Israeli Consulate in Toronto to protest the planned Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank in accordance to the the Deal of the Century, the American peace plan that was rejected by the Palestinians.
One of the speakers was Julius Arscott, the alternate Executive Board Member of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), a member of the Workers Action Movement and the NDP Socialist Caucus.
Here is Julius Arscott’s speech:
My name is Julius Arscott. I’m an alternate Executive Board Member of OPSEU [Ontario Public Service Employees Union] in Toronto and a leader of Socialist Action [SA]. SA is one of the initiators of this protest and the coalition that organized it. We say: No to annexation of the West Bank; From the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea Palestine will be free. Israel was founded on a big lie that Palestine was a land without people for people without a land. The Palestinian people are here today to refute that lie. Socialist Action, part of the world Trotskyist movement, a movement opposed the creation of the Zionist state 72 years ago. The current land grab building on the Nakba in 1948, the expanded occupation in 1967 and the recent annexation of the Golan Heights, deepens an ugly legacy of racism and ethnic cleansing. Look at the world today. It is sharply polarized. On the one hand there’s a global pandemic, economic ruin, environmental catastrophe and authoritarian rule. On the other hand, millions are calling out: Smash racism. black and indigenous lives matter, abolish the Police. Justin Trudeau’s liberal government promised Bibi [Benjamin] Netanyahu [Israel’s Prime Minister] that Canada on the Security Council would be an asset for Israel. Ottawa’s defeat at the UN [United Nations] was a victory for the Palestinian people. We know that public opinion in Canada backs sanctions against the Zionist state. Still the authorities tried to vilify and even outlaw BDS [Boycott, Divest, Sanctions]. They seek to ban the Al-Quds March and to stop anti Zionist free speech. Zionists and their friends in big business are in a panic. It is a sign of their weakness. The Palestinian people are in the forefront of resistance to world imperialism. They did not choose this role. It was thrust upon them. They are the heroes of the world working class. Many states are guilty of atrocious crimes. But Israel is a linchpin of global imperialist rule. Richard Nixon, a strident antisemite called Israel America’s biggest aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean. Freedom for Palestine means freedom for humanity. Finally, we stand with the people of Palestine. Our task is to mobilize public opinion in mass actions based on clear demands. For that reason Socialist Auction will not stop demanding: no to annexation of the West Bank, break the siege of Gaza, end the occupation, tear down the apartheid wall, for the right of all refugees to return home, for a democratic secular Palestine for all its residents Muslims, Jews, Christians and atheists. From the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea Palestine will be free. From the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea Palestine will be free.