(Photo: Eli Cohen, via Twitter)

Israeli Economy Minister Eli Cohen didn’t take kindly to being interrupted at a Toronto meeting, telling BDS activists: ‘Instead of building hospitals, instead of taking care of your people, you are shooting rockets!’


It’s a scene with which we are now sadly familiar. An Israeli representative is speaking before a crowd, or performing on stage, when intolerant loudmouths stand up suddenly and attempt to yell over them. But this time it went a little differently.

When Canadian BDS activists crashed a business meeting attended by Israel’s Economy and Industry Minister Eli Cohen and his Canadian counterpart, Foreign Trade Minister Francois Philippe Champagne, they came with a clear plan in mind: to embarrass and silence the Israeli speakers. Instead, they got a mild taste of their own medicine.

After a woman started screaming that a trade agreement between Israel and her country was “blood on the hands of Canadians”, the Israeli minister had enough, and responded robustly to her outrageous statement.

“Instead of building hospitals, instead of taking care of your people, you are shooting rockets!” he fired back.

Not finished, Cohen chastised BDS activists for backing the wrong side and described how Arabs deliberately misuse aid money to fund terror. “We send you medicine, we send you food,” Cohen continued. “Build schools. Build industrial zones. This is what you should do with the money.”

The activists’ haranguing did them no good, as Israel and Canada signed an updated, historic free trade agreement in Montreal, the third such agreement Israel has signed this year.


Afterwards, Cohen called the BDS activists’ behaviour a provocation, explaining that “BDS supporters work to create provocation out of desperation because of the drop in attention to them.”

“Everyone present at the event saw the warmth towards the State of Israel and the rejection of the delusional groups that support terror organizations in Gaza,” Cohen added.