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August 14, 2020 2:54 pm

Arabic Newspaper in Canada Falsely Blames Israel for Beirut Explosion

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Firefighters in action in the Lebanese capital of Beirut following the devastating explosion in the city’s port area, Aug. 4, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamed Azakir.

A Canadian Jewish advocacy group on Friday highlighted the misinformation campaign by an Arabic-language newspaper in Ontario that claimed Israel was to blame for the devastating explosion in Beirut’s port area on August 4.

In a statement that detailed the false allegation pushed by the Al Meshwar newspaper, B’nai Brith Canada noted that its Aug. 7 edition included a half-page editorial by editor-in-chief Nazih Khatatba titled “Who Is Responsible for the Beirut Port Disaster?”

The group quoted Khatatba’s conclusion that “the Beirut disaster cannot be anything but the result of a planned Israeli-American act by direct implementation or via their local proxies.”

The same piece then added that “in the event that Israel is responsible for the detonation, Hezbollah can do nothing but respond with attacks at the same level as the crime.”

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B’nai Brith Canada observed, “[I]ronically, Hezbollah itself has told Lebanese media that Israel was not responsible, and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah, did not point the finger at Israel.”

“The obsessive need to blame Israel for every catastrophe in the Middle East highlights the antisemitism at the heart of the anti-Israel movement,” said Michael Mostyn, the chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “For centuries, antisemites have blamed Jews for every evil — and now some feel the need to do the same to the Jewish state.”

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