Greatest wave of anti-Semitism in my lifetime: Housefather

A pro-Palestinian participant at a recent downtown Montreal protest where smoke bombs and firecrackers were set off.

Mount Royal MP Anthony Housefather told the Commons last week that threats and incidents in recent weeks both in local communities and online have resulted in "the greatest wave of anti-Semitism that I have seen in my lifetime."

The incidents occurred as pro-Palestinian protests have taken place in Montreal, other Canadian cities and locales around the world in reaction to the recent Israel-Hamas conflict. The protests have included anti-Semitic signage, including comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, accusing it of perpetrating another Holocaust and calling for Israel's disappearance.

The MP pointed out that May 31 was the last day of Jewish Heritage Month.

"Unfortunately, this month, the celebrations have been overshadowed by the greatest wave of anti-Semitism that I have seen in my lifetime," Housefather said. "Events in the Middle East should not lead to hate in Canada, but they do."

The MP said people in their 90s "have told me that they have not felt this level of fear since the 1930s, the time of the Christie Pits Riot in Toronto and our 'none is too many' Jewish refugee policy.

"Some constituents have told me they are afraid to take their kids to the park. Schools and day cares have stopped letting their students leave school grounds at recess. An elderly couple told me they have taken their mezuzah off their door."

Housefather said such anti-Semitism "should not be happening in Canada. I call on all my colleagues to publicly denounce anti-Semitism in Canada and ask them to please issue a public statement if they have not already done so. Countering hate is all of our responsibility."

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