Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced a rise in anti-Semitism and Islamophobia occurring in Canada since the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas sparked in Gaza. He made the comments before the weekly federal Liberal caucus meeting Wednesday on Parliament Hill. Trudeau called for a humanitarian pause in the continuing war which unfolds amidst efforts to extract Canadians from the region.
“We’re watching it on TV every night, seeing it all over social media and Canadians are hurting and crying out that it needs to stop. This is why we are calling for humanitarian pause.” Trudeau said.
“A humanitarian pause is going to allow all the hostages to be released. Allow us to continue doing the work of getting all foreign nationals out of Gaza. We got 75 of 80 Canadians out [Tuesday], which is solid progress, but there is so much more to do.
“We’re seeing right now a rise in anti-Semitism that is terrifying. Molotov cocktails thrown at synagogues, horrific threats of violence targeting Jewish businesses, targeting Jewish daycares with hate. This needs to stop. This is not who we are as Canadians. This is something that is not acceptable in Canada, period.
“And period, the rise of Islamophobia we’re seeing across this country and around the world is also unacceptable. The expressions of hate against Muslims, against Palestinians, against anyone waving a Palestinian flag?
“This is unacceptable. This is not who we are as Canadians,” Trudeau repeated.
“If Canada can’t figure this out, tell me what corner of the world is going to figure this out.”
The prime minister explained that people across the country are hurting.
“[They’re] scared for themselves, scared for their kids here in Canada, scared for their loved ones on the other side of the world and no sign of it getting better anytime soon. Canadians are scared in our own streets right now. We need to make sure that Canadians are doing what we do best.
“Which is listening to our neighbours, understanding and acknowledging our neighbour’s pain, even though it may be diametrically opposed in its cause to the same pain that we are feeling.” Trudeau said.
Trudeau pointed to the deep multicultural roots of Canada and said the nation must model how to get through times of pain and suffering. He also said political leaders need to do everything they can to bring people together.
On October 7, Hamas militants invaded several sites in Israel, including a concert. 1,400 people were killed, and an additional 240 people were taken hostage.
Since that time, Israel has retaliated with a relentless campaign of airstrikes that have killed of more than 11,000 Palestinians, per Palestinian authorities.
Image from CPAC video feed of the remarks.