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Canadian Cabinet Minister’s Presence at Function with the PLO Draws Fire from Cjc

October 20, 1982
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Canadian Jewish Congress (CJC) has protested against the scheduled presence of a Cabinet minister at an Arab function here to be attended by officials of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

In a telegram to Allan MacEachen, Secretary of State for External Affairs, the CJC expressed “distress” that the Federal Minister of Fisheries, Pierre Bedanne, will represent the Canadian government at the convention of the Association of Arab-American University Graduates which opens Friday at the Sheraton Center Hotel in Montreal.

The convention will be attended by a ranking PLO official, Shafiz Al Hout, and by Dr. Arafat, head of the Palestine Red Crescent which is an agency of the PLO.


The CJC urged that Al Hout and Arafat “be excluded from Canada” and that the federal government withdraw its representation at the convention. “Canadians will be horrified that leading representatives of the PLO have been admitted to our country as they are self-proclaimed terrorists who espouse the destruction of the Jewish State and have waged ceaseless acts of terror against innocents of all faiths,” the telegram stated.

It claimed; “This convention will be used by the PLO to call for the destruction of the State of Israel, in the presence of a representative of the federal government, should Mr. Debanne attend. Such a situation must be unacceptable to you as it is to us because it is in direct contradiction with the stated policy of the Canadian government.”

About 1,000 delegates are expected at the convention which will be addressed by Jacques-Yvan Morin, the Quebec government’s Minister for Inter-Government Affairs. He is listed as guest speaker.

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