‘Lose our reputation’

City man wants prime minister charged with advocating for genocide

Diane Crocker dcrocker@thewesternstar.com
Published on July 21, 2014
Andrew Abbass has filed a complaint with the Corner Brook RNC alleging that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is advocating for genocide in Israel.
Star photo by Diane Crocker

Andrew Abbass didn’t quite know what to expect when he walked in the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary’s Corner Brook headquarters on Monday morning.

Abbass was there to file a complaint.

Nothing unusual there for the police force, but the focus of his complaint was a little out of the ordinary.

Abbass is seeking to have Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird charged with advocating for genocide.

“They accepted it and filed the case,” he said shortly after leaving the RNC.

His complaint, which also alleges creation and dissemination of propaganda, breach of public trust and uttering threats, stem from comments Harper and Baird have made about the ongoing Israeli conflict.

“In painting Hamas and the people of Gaza as a terrorist organization they’re basically sanctioning the killing of civilians,” said Abbass.

He’s put together a document that outlines the reasons for the requested charges that can be found via a link in an online petition at http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/rcmp-arrestharperandbaird4hatespeech-under-criminalcodesections318and319?share_id=OolYnQmYdr&utm_campaign=friend_inviter_chat&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=permissions_dialog_false.

The document includes a video titled “Through Fire and Water,” http://youtu.be/hq8MN0OBEO4, that Abbass describes as hate propaganda published by the Conservative Party of Canada.

The video references parts of a speech Harper made recently to the Israeli Knesset. During the speech Harper said that Canada supports Israel fundamentally and pledges to stand with Israel “through fire and water.”

“I’m Canadian,” said Abbass when asked why he decided to seek legal action against Harper and Baird.

“I realize that we provide a bigger role in providing a moral compass for the West than like America does. Canada has always been the conscientious objector to using military action against civilians.”

Abbass said that’s what’s happening in Israel right now, where 25 per cent of the causalities are children, and that Harper is advocating for it.

Abbass has studied at Memorial University and has met people from all over world.

“In talking about it we all realized that the people over there are fighting over stupid shit,” he said. “And it’s not our place to get in there and say you’re morally right or your morally wrong and you deserve to die.”

Abbass said the comments of Harper and Baird reflect on Canada.

He said there have been protests about it in Canada that have resulted in violence between Muslim and Jewish Canadians.

“It’s created division between us,” Abbass said. “It’s going to deepen division between religions.”

He said the end result is that the Canadian reputation is going to be tarnished and Canadians will become endangered overseas.

“You know we’re going to lose our reputation as a peacemaker,” said Abbass.

“Canadian prime ministers have always followed the rule of law when dealing with international situations and Stephen Harper has let his moral and religious beliefs get in the way of that.”

While Abbass filed his complaint with the local RNC it won’t be this force that investigates.

Const. Scott Mosher, the RNC’s media relations officer in the city, confirmed the file has been passed over to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Mosher said that’s procedure for complaints of this nature. It had to be filed with the RNC first because it has jurisdiction over the city, and this is where Abbass lives.

“Our role in this would be to forward the information,” said Mosher. He added if there is any other support the RNC can offer it will.

Mosher agreed the complaint is a bit unusual for the city force.

“Not unusual in the sense we’ve received a complaint that has to be forwarded to another agency for investigation,” Mosher said.

In this case, he said, it’s the nature of the complaint and the people involved that’s out of the norm.

EARLIER STORY

Andrew Abbass started the process Monday morning that could see Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird charged with advocating for genocide.

Abbass took his evidence against the two to the Corner Brook Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.

He left with a file number and an assurance the RNC would look into the matter and pass it on to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. His complaint, which also alleges creation and dissemination of propaganda, breach of public trust and uttering threats, had to be filed with the RNC because it has jurisdiction over the city, of which Abbass is a resident.

His actions stem from comments Harper and Baird have made about the ongoing conflict in Israel.

“In painting Hamas and the people of Gaza as a terrorist organization they’re basically sanctioning the killing of civilians,” said Abbass.

Abbass's complaint references a speech Harper made recently to the Israeli Knesset. During the speech Harper said that Canada supports Israel fundamentally and pledges to stand with Israel “through fire and water.”

“Canadian prime ministers have always followed the rule of law when dealing with international situations and Stephen Harper has let his moral and religious beliefs get in the way of that,” said Abbass.