Police arrest 8 protesters at Israeli consulate
Published Wednesday, January 7, 2009 1:30PM EST
Toronto police have arrested eight Canadian Jewish women who occupied the Israeli consulate on Bloor Street.
The group carried out the occupation to show their opposition to Israel's military operations in the Gaza Strip and its two-year economic blockade of the territory, Miriam Garfinkle, a spokesperson, told ctvtoronto.ca on Wednesday.
The most prominent of the eight arrested is Toronto activist Judy Rebick. But the group also includes Israeli filmmaker B.H. Yael, peace activists and students, she said.
Police will be taking them to 52 Division, Garfinkle said.
A senior officer at 52 Division said the protesters would be taken to 53 Division, where they will face tresspassing and failure-to-disperse charges.
In a news release forwarded by Montreal-based Palestinian and Jewish Unity, the protesters said: "Protesters are outraged at Israel's latest assault on the Palestinian people and by the Canadian government's refusal to condemn these massacres.
"They are deeply concerned that Canadians are hearing the views of pro-Israel groups who are being represented as the only voice of Jewish Canadians. The protesters have occupied the consulate to send a clear statement that many Jewish-Canadians do not support Israel's violence and apartheid policies. "
The Israeli consulate at 180 Bloor St. W. has been the scene of two major protests since Israel began its operation against the Palestinian Islamic militant group and political party Hamas on Dec. 27.
Israeli has said it is carrying out the operation to end Hamas's ability to launch rocket attacks against its territory.
According to Palestinian and UN figures, about 300 of the more than 670 killed inside Gaza have been civilians.