Earlier today, Canadians across the country – including Prime Minister Trudeau – paused to reflect on the tragedy of the Shoah, stand in solidarity with Survivors, and honour the six million Jewish children, women, and men murdered by the Nazi regime.
Every year on this solemn day, we come together, light candles, and renew our commitment to Never Again. But this year, even before the smoke from those candles dissipates, our community will once again be singled out for hate.
On Saturday, while we observe Shabbat, activists cloaked in a veil of Palestinian solidarity, will stand on Canadian streets and openly promote hatred against Jews. The Al Quds day hate-fest, established by the extremist Iranian Ayatollahs in 1979 to foment hatred against the Jewish state, will again be on display.
Last weekend provided a preview of what to expect. Anti-Israel protestors condoned the recent wave of terror in Israel, which has taken the lives of 14 Israelis. They called for violence against the Jewish people and Israel.
In both Arabic and English, protestors chanted “Alahu Akbar,” called for “intifada,” claimed Jews were “maliciously scheming to violate the status quo on Al Aqsa” – a very thinly veiled call for violence against Jews – and stated that they would “never stop resisting” and “defend Al-Quds [Jerusalem] and Al-Aqsa with our souls and our blood.”
This despite Israel’s consistent commitment to maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount.
In Canada, Al-Quds rallies have included incitement to violence, calls for Israel’s destruction, the promotion of anti-Israel and antisemitic conspiracy theories, and the display of symbols associated with terrorist groups banned in Canada. This is particularly troubling because antisemitism is on the rise.
As we do every year, CIJA and our Federation partners will monitor Al-Quds Day rallies with the objective of holding accountable any who spew hate on our streets. We will file police reports, register concerns with elected officials, and educate Canadians about why we are deeply concerned that groups such as Samidoun – one of the groups promoting the Al Quds day events in Toronto and linked to terrorists like the PFLP – are allowed to operate with impunity in Canada.
CIJA is working with law enforcement and the local Jewish community security services to ensure our community is safe and secure.
While our community continues to be concerned by these hateful rallies, we also acknowledge that, because the vast majority of Canadians find these expressions of hate as abhorrent as we do, Canada remains one of the best countries in the world in which to be Jewish. From this, we should take comfort, while remaining vigilant and speaking out against hate wherever we encounter it.
In solidarity and with warm regards,
Gail Adelson-MarcovitzChair, National Board of Directors