On April 26, 2018, Defense for Children International – Palestine’s (DCI-P) International Advocacy Officer Brad Parker spoke in Ottawa. Alongside UN Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk and leader of the Green Party of Canada Elizabeth May, the event “Rights under Endless Occupation: Israel/Palestine Discussion,” was hosted by the Mennonite Central Committee and the United Church of Canada.
Parker’s presentation repeated the false claims and methodological flaws that are typical of DCI-P’s advocacy and reports (see NGO Monitor’s “No Way to Represent a Child: Defense for Children International – Palestine’s Distortions of the Israeli Justice System”).
At one point, Parker outright lied to the audience. He described a theoretical scenario where he threw a rock at a car as it is driving, thereby breaking its window. Parker stated that he “might” get arrested, and proceeds to ask the audience if he would go to jail. The audience remained largely silent, so Parker answered for them, with “no.”
In contrast to Parker’s statements and his minimization of violence, according to Canada’s Criminal Code (430(2)), “Every one who commits mischief that causes actual danger to life is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life” (emphasis added). Indeed, there are numerous cases in Canada where both minors and adults have thrown stones and been charged with “mischief endangering life,” and therefore faced this maximum sentence.
Here are a few examples:
- In December 2016, two teens (aged 13 and 14) from Peterborough, Ontario were charged “after rocks thrown from a highway overpass smashed through windshields.” They were charged with 15 counts of “mischief endangering life.”
- A June 19, 2014 CBC article notes that “two 13-year old boys face charges after rocks were thrown at vehicles moving at 80 km/h on a busy street this week, with one of the boys also accused of assaulting a police officer” in Winnipeg. The article notes that the boys face charges for “mischief endangering life.”
- Two men were sentenced to six months in custody for “assaulting a peace office” and “endangering the public’s safety.” One of the men was caught on video throwing a rock through a Starbucks window during the G20 protests in Toronto in 2010.
- In 2013, a 13-year-old was charged with “mischief and endangering life” for throwing rocks onto cars from a highway overpass in Hamilton, Ontario.
- In January 2006, a 14-year-old boy threw a 2.5 pound rock from “the Albert St. overpass [in Oshawa] and it smashed her windshield like a bullet, hitting the driver’s side and knocking her unconscious. The damage to her face was extensive and horrifying – including ripping off her right cheek.” The boy faced five counts of mischief endangering life and one of aggravated assault.
Parker made similar claims, suggesting that Israel’s prosecution of individuals for throwing stones is unique, during a September 7, 2017 presentation in Winnipeg.
It is noteworthy that Parker’s employer, DCI-P, has close ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization. For instance, DCI-P employee Hashem Abu Maria, was hailed by the PFLP as a “comrade” and a “leader” after his death in 2014. DCI-P also dedicated its 2014 Annual Report to the terror group member (see NGO Monitor’s report “The European Funded NGO PFLP Network” for more examples).
UN Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk’s partnership with a terror-affiliated NGO is also no surprise, as he regularly partners with such groups and others that promote BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel. Lynk further has admitted that he lacks expertise in international law and has committed a number of moral failures, as shown in labeling a virulent antisemite as a “human rights defender” in his March 2017 report to the UN Human Rights Council, and employing antisemitic canards in his 2018 report.