In 2016, B’nai Brith Canada accused Dimitri Lascaris, official Justice Critic of the Green Party of Canada, of supporting and advocating on behalf of terrorists.
Dimitri Lascaris, official Justice Critic of the Green Party of Canada, has used social media to advocate on behalf of terrorists who have murdered Israeli civilians, a B’nai Brith Canada investigation has revealed.
In May of 2016, Lascaris visited Israel and met with Muhammad Alayan, father of Bahaa Alayan. On October 21, 2015, Bahaa boarded a Jerusalem bus with an accomplice and stabbed three innocent civilians to death — Richard Lakin, Alon Govberg and Haim Haviv. Bahaa Alayan was killed by Israeli security forces responding to the terrorist attack, while his accomplice, Bilal Abu Ghanem, was arrested and received three life sentences from an Israeli court. The attack was praised by the Hamas terrorist group, which produced a sickening re-enactment video to the delight of its followers.
In a public Facebook post, Lascaris claimed that Bahaa had been “killed extrajudicially by Israeli authorities”, and pledged to help his father in recovering his body.
Stopping a murderous terrorist in the midst of attempting to kill more people is hardly what I would call “killed extrajudicially by Israeli authorities” but Dimitri Lascaris is entitled to his opinion – whether I agree with it or not.
When the staunch defender of the State of Israel refused to apologize for its comments, Dimitri Lascaris filed a libel and defamation lawsuit against B’nai Brith Canada in 2017.
B’nai Brith fought to have Lascaris’ lawsuit dismissed under Ontario’s Anti-SLAPP legislation. This was a bizarre move, since Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) lawsuits are typically used by large corporations who want to stifle opposition to their public actions or positions.
To use the Biblical analogy of David vs. Goliath, B’nai Brith Canada plays the role of Golaith here, not Dimitri Lascaris, so attempting to invoke anti-SLAPP legislation to shut down “David” is a little rich for my liking.
In 2018, B’nai Brith Canada presented a motion to dismiss the Lascaris lawsuit and their motion was granted by Justice H. A. Rady.
The defendant’s motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s libel action under the anti-SLAPP provision in s. 137.1 of the CJA is granted. The plaintiff’s action must be dismissed, because he is unable to show that the defendant has no valid defence against his claim, as required by s. 137.1(4). As a reminder to the parties who often veered into advocacy related to the merits of the debate, the Court makes no comment on the underlying dispute or on the merits of their respective points of view.
Dimitri Lascaris appealed Justice Rady’s decision to the Ontario Court of Appeals, who reversed the lower court decision and ruled in his favour.
 The fact that the appellant is no longer engaged in private practice does not mean that his reputation is still not of consequence. The appellant continues to represent clients on a pro bono basis. His reputation will mean as much to those clients as it would to any other client, especially given the nature of the clients to whom he devotes his services.
 In reaching that conclusion, I do not mean to suggest that the views of the respondent are not without merit or importance. However, fair disagreements over policies and principles can be undertaken, indeed ought to be undertaken, through responsible discourse. Whatever disagreements there may be between the appellant’s views and the respondent’s views, those views can be exchanged and debated without the need for personal attacks. It remains open to the respondent to express its views on issues that concern it, such as the BDS Resolution and broader BDS debate, for example, without engaging in speech that is arguably defamatory.
 The appeal is allowed, the order below is set aside, and the matter is remitted to the Superior Court of Justice.
Naturally, B’nai Brith Canada applied to the Supreme Court of Canada to reverse the reversal of their lower court victory.
On October 15, 2020, the Supreme Court of Canada denied B’nai Brith Canada’s application for leave to appeal the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision to allow Lascaris’ case to move forward.
“The application for leave to appeal from the judgment of the Court of Appeal for Ontario, Number C65698, 2019 ONCA 163, dated March 4, 2019, is dismissed with costs.”
The case will now return to the Superior Court of Justice where, if there is any sanity left in our justice system, B’nai Brith Canada will be soundly reprimanded for their blatant bully tactics against an individual with whom they disagree, even if they are ultimately successful in having Lascaris’ defamation case dismissed.
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