National Assembly unanimously condemns increase in anti-Semitism

A flag is waved during a May 22 pro-Palestinian protest in downtown Montreal. Anti-Semitic signage and slogans have been heard during such protests.

The Quebec National Assembly unanimously passed a resolution condemning anti-Semitic incidents in the province.

The resolution says that the National Assembly “firmly condemn the threats, violence and aggression towards Quebecers of Jewish faith, which have increased in the last weeks; that it reaffirm that in a free and democratic society, all can demonstrate or express an opinion, with respect, safety and dignity; that it reiterate the need to maintain a healthy, democratic debate regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and finally, that it recall that violence is intolerable towards anyone at any time.”

In recent days, members of the Jewish community were attacked and threatened physically and on social media in downtown Montreal, Côte St. Luc, Outremont, Hampstead and Westmount during the Israel-Hamas conflict, including by pro-Palestinian protesters. Incidents of vandalism against synagogues had taken place in the past year as well.

The resolution was tabled by D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum, and co-sponsored by the MNAs for Gaspé, Laurier-Dorion, Chomedey, Marie-Victorin and Rimouski.

“The situation experienced by my fellow citizens is unacceptable,” Birnbaum said. “In 2021, we can no longer tolerate behaviour of this kind. Let’s hope that the signal will be heard by the whole population. Hatred and violence towards Jewish Quebecers must cease immediately.”

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs welcomed the motion.

“For weeks, Quebec Jews have been at the receiving end of an alarming number of anti-Semitic incidents including assaults, vandalism and death threats,” said Eta Yudin, CIJA Quebec’s vice-president. “This situation is intolerable and without precedent, and does not reflect Quebec’s values.”

Yudin added that elected officials “have sent a strong message to all Quebecers that anti-Semitism has no place in Quebec society.

“While there is still much work to be done, today’s motion is a step in the right direction and demonstrates that our elected officials understand the gravity of the threat and will not allow it to fester.”

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