This Week in Canadian Jewish Advocacy, October 22, 2023

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|October 22, 2023
This Week in Canadian Jewish Advocacy

This week, nearly 1,000 Jewish Canadians and allies of Canada’s Jewish community stepped up and spoke up to face and fight antisemitism. Over two days in Ottawa at the Antisemitism: Face It, Fight It conference, on the heels of the grievous October 7 terrorist attacks on the people of Israel, we were educated by experts about how to face and fight contemporary antisemitism while commiserating, connecting, and gathering strength from one another.  

We also reached out to Canada’s politicians and media for the egregious and unwarranted condemnation of Israel for a rocket strike on a Gaza hospital when, in fact, that tragedy was the result of a misfired Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket.  

Read on to learn more.

The CIJA Team  

We are grateful to the nearly thousand people, united in the fight against hate and antisemitism, who attended Antisemitism: Face It, Fight It, a conference that integrated advocacy training, seminars featuring more than 30 Canadian and international experts, and face-to-face meetings with decision-makers. Watch a recap here

In just over two and a half hours on Tuesday, more than 800 conference attendees participated in 116 meetings with Canada’s elected officials, including Members of Parliament, Senators, Ministers, and Party leaders.  

We are grateful to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Leader of the Opposition Pierre Poilievre, Leader of the Bloc Québécois Yves-Francois Blanchet, and Leader of the New Democratic Party Jagmeet Singh for their words of unequivocal support for Canada’s Jewish community. We know we are not alone in this battle.  

We closed this unprecedented two-day event by presenting the Honourable Irwin Cotler, one of the world’s foremost human rights advocates, a lifetime achievement award in recognition of his enduring commitment to the pursuit of justice for all people and the advancement of human rights for the world’s most vulnerable and oppressed. Watch a tribute video and his acceptance speech here.

We look forward to undertaking the next steps in our national campaign to push antisemitism – and all hate – to the margins of Canadian society. 

Following an explosion at the al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City on October 17, media outlets and politicians across the globe, including Canadian politicians, rushed to condemn Israel, without any evidence other than a statement released by the Gazan Health Ministry, which is run by the Hamas terror group. 

Ample evidence has now been shared by Israeli authorities demonstrating that a misfired Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket was responsible for the strike. In addition, US President Biden and US intelligence officials have confirmed the evidence and stated that it was a Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket that struck the hospital area. 

CIJA promptly issued a special bulletin with relevant facts, critical background information and a call to Canadian elected officials, the media, and other influencers to retract any false statements and remind them always to verify facts before commenting publicly, particularly during times of war.   

CIJA also joined B'nai Brith Canada and Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center Canada in calling on the Canadian government to retract and clarify its earlier comments regarding the hospital explosion in Gaza that continues to give credence to the false Hamas narrative.


A letter to the editor from an ally to Canada’s Jewish community, Rob McEwen, CEO of McEwen Oil. He and his wife Cheryl were honoured in June 2019 with CIJA’s Words & Deeds Leadership Award for their philanthropic work and strong support of the Jewish community. 

CIJA in the News 

As Canada evacuates citizens in Israel, some Israeli-Canadians want to stay (CityNews, + The Canadian Press Syndication)

Des Israéliens-Canadiens veulent rester malgré la guerre (Syndication La presse canadienne)

Canada will remain a 'friend' to Israel, says Trudeau at antisemitism conference (Montreal Gazette, + The Canadian Press Syndication)

At conference confronting antisemitism, justice minister promises online harms legislation (CBC News)

Growing safety concerns in Toronto as tensions escalate overseas (CityNews)

Dramatic rise in reported hate crimes in Toronto (CityNews)

Premier Doug Ford calls for Ontario NDP MPP's resignation over Israel-Gaza statement (CP24, + Syndication)

Jess Burke in Israel (CTV Your Morning)

Jewish groups call on Trudeau to clarify Gaza blast comments, Canada won't comment on culpability (CTV News)

We’re witnessing the highest rise of antisemitism in 50 years: Irwin Cotler on the global evil (National Post)

Uptick in antisemitism, Islamophobia since start of Israel-Hamas conflict (Global News)

B.C. Jewish group raises security concerns as ex-Hamas leader calls for protests (Global News, + Syndication)

Un Gatinois raconte l'horreur des derniers jours en Israël (Le Telejournal, Radio-Canada)

Nova Scotians scrambling to escape bloodshed in Israel after wedding (SaltWire)

Cabinet minister says her daughter hides her Star of David necklace - and that she feels ‘heartbreak and fear’ as a parent (Toronto Star, + Syndicatiob)

Unions, universities face backlash over statements following Hamas attack on Israel (The Globe and Mail)

Senior federal public servant faces possible disciplinary action for anti-Israel remarks (The Globe and Mail)

‘Critical’ time to discuss antisemitism (Winnipeg Free Press)

Conference to address growing threat of antisemitism (Winnipeg Free Press)

Antisemitism national conference an opportunity for meaningful discussion (Winnipeg Free Press)

Canada’s political leaders reiterate their support for Israel at the antisemitism conference in Ottawa (The Canadian Jewish News)

'Thin line' between freedom of speech and 'freedom of hate,' says Israeli ambassador (Ottawa Sun, + The Canadian Press Syndication)

Social media key in hate forecasting, U.S. academic tells antisemitism conference (Winnipeg Free Press)

Spikes in online hate predict antisemitic events during times of conflict—as explained in Ottawa by a U.S. academic (The Canadian Jewish News)

Les combattants du Hamas sont des «terroristes» réitère Justin Trudeau (Syndication de La presse canadienne)

Conférence sur la lutte contre l’antisémitisme 10:19-13:00 (Le téléjournal Ottawa-Gatineau, Radio Canada)

At conference confronting antisemitism, justice minister promises online harms legislation (CBC News)

Justice Minister Reiterates Pledge for 'Online Harms' Legislation, Offers No Timeline: Report (The Epoch Times)

Strategic coordinated litigation, clear public messaging can help combat antisemitism, lawyers say (Law360 Canada)

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The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs is the advocacy agent of Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, representing Jewish Federations across Canada.