TORONTO - Chants of "Palestine is ours/The Jews are dogs" and "Burn, burn Israel" had nothing to do with the vast majority of protesters at an event organized by the archdiocese of Montreal 's social action committee, said the director of the archdiocese of Montreal's social action office.
"To claim that this peaceful demonstration was pro-Hamas is to grossly misrepresent the views of the overwhelming majority of persons who marched on a cold Saturday afternoon," Brian McDonough told The Catholic Register.
McDonough did not publicly distance his office from slogans such as "There is no God but Allah and the jihadist is the beloved of Allah" and "O Nasrallah, o beloved, strike, strike Tel Aviv" before media reports and video of the demonstration went across Canada. He said he and the demonstration's other organizers didn't want to bring undue attention to "an extremely marginal, fringe group."
Organizers of the Jan. 10 event specifically condemned both the Israeli blockade of Gaza and Hamas rocket attacks against Israeli civilians in their appeal for people to support the protest, McDonough said. The organizers did not ask the pro-Hamas demonstrators to leave or to stop their violent chants because they regarded these protesters as irrelevant and did not want a confrontation.
"You don't chant or you don't accept statements that in any way are incompatible with your values or your vision," said McDonough. "But you're not in a position to go in there with force and tear down slogans or kind of push people away from the demonstration." The Catholic peace movement is , said Fr. Richard Renshaw of the Montreal Pax Christi International affiliate Antennes de Paix.
"not interested in naming villains or taking sides in the conflict between Hamas and the government of Israel", Oh gee, what a relief. I swear I have heard this slimey bit of moral bankruptcy somewhere before….of course, G-d forbid, a Catholic priest would object or confront anyone inciting against the Jews or saying anything derogatory about a Jew….