We were deeply disturbed by your comments regarding the current conflict between Hamas and the State of Israel, made during your press conference of May 12, 2021.
Like all Canadians, Canada’s Jewish community values the sanctity of life, and we want nothing more than to see than an end to this bloodshed. We are truly devastated by news of innocent people being caught in the crossfire — on both sides. Your complete lack of reference to what Israeli civilians are going through conveys that your concern for civilian safety does not extend to Israelis.
Hundreds of thousands of Israelis of all faiths are currently targeted by Hamas missile fire on large civilian population centers. This includes parents and children who will be spending their fourth night in bomb shelters, and those mourning their loved ones. Your apparent lack of empathy for them defies explanation.
You made multiple references to human rights and international law, but somehow missed a double war-crime by Hamas: recognized by Canada as a terrorist organization, Hamas is using the population of Gaza as human shields while targeting Israeli civilians with the intent to kill as many people as possible. Large numbers of Hamas-fired missiles have struck homes and schools in Israel, while a significant number have reportedly misfired, killing Palestinian civilians including children.
Where is the Jagmeet Singh of 2018 who wrote: “I strongly condemn the targeting of Israeli civilians – the firing of mortars into civilian areas is unacceptable and an escalation of this violence could have serious consequences. Everyone has the right to live in safety and security”?
Instead, yesterday you actually called for Canada to abandon its ally in its hour of need. Incredibly, at the same time, you showed no concern for the millions of dollars of Canadian and international humanitarian aid that is diverted to weapons manufacturing in Gaza.
Your comments were coldhearted, morally reprehensible, inconsistent with your previous statements on the matter, and a betrayal of the fundamental values of the New Democratic Party.
We could not have been more disappointed in your comments and we insist that you correct them as soon as possible.
Shimon Koffler Fogel
President and CEO
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs