Palestinian man from Winnipeg receives beheading threat

President of the Canadian Palestinian Association of Manitoba, Ramsey Zeid, says the threats against him have been increasing since October of last year. Joanne Roberts has the story.

“Shut up, you filthy Arab scum. I will cut your head off.”

It’s one of several anonymous voicemail messages left on the phone of Canadian-born Palestinian, Ramsey Zeid, who is also the president of the Canadian Palestinian Association of Manitoba.

“You predatory, parasite Palestinians come over here. And, you know, Canada is a democracy. Palestine, the false name Palestine, and it is a false name, anyway,” said another message from a different person, “You’re not a democracy. You’re not the friend of Canada. “

“I wasn’t shocked that I got the message (about the beheading),” said Zeid. “I was shocked that they actually left it as a voicemail.”

The voicemails are not new to Zeid. He says it happens on a weekly basis.

“Anything from wanting to chop my head off, to wanting to burn me alive with a blow torch, to trying to hit me with their car, to chasing me with their car, to spitting in my face,” he said.

Ramsey Zeid, the president of the Canadian Palestinian Association of Manitoba, says he’s been getting increasingly violent threats. (Photo Credit: Joanne Roberts, CityNews)

Zeid says he believes he’s targeted as he’s a leader and outspoken advocate of the Palestinian community, though the threats have been increasing since the beginnings of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7th.

“Obviously I’m always looking over my shoulder, I’m checking everything twice, I’m always checking my surroundings. I’m in constant contact with Winnipeg Police whenever there’s an incident, I do let them know, the are aware of what’s happening. That all I can do pretty much, I mean I don’t know what else I can do other than stay silent, but I won’t do that.”

Zeid says given the threats he’s received, he’s not surprised others who support the community — like students at the university encampments in the city — are cautious of publicizing their identities, but says they’re still making a difference.

“Students are the ones that, historically, have made the most impact. They’re our future. They’re our voices. They are the ones that are gonna be leading the human rights struggle now and for years to come,” he explained.

RELATED: Faculty supporters gather at UW to commemorate 1 month of the encampment

CityNews reached out to the Winnipeg Police Service who wrote in an email statement, “The Winnipeg Police Service takes all reports seriously regarding uttered threats to anyone. A citizen’s report is reviewed, and police will contact the complainant. As previously mentioned all threats made regarding religion, race, and culture are investigated by the Major Crimes Unit Hate Crime investigators. Reports are typically made by calling the non-emergency line, but 911 should be called in an emergency situation.

“If you have received threatening voicemails or messages, make a police report and keep the messages available for pending investigation.”

For now, Zeid says despite the threats, he’ll continue to speak out in support of the Palestinian community. 

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today