Rising Antisemitism in Canada Sparks Concerns Amidst Middle East Conflict


Ottawa, Canada - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed deep concern over the surge in antisemitic incidents in Canada, attributing it to the recent hostilities between Palestinian group Hamas and Israel, followed by deadly airstrikes in Gaza.

"Since this conflict broke out, there has been a very scary rise of antisemitism here at home," Trudeau stated during a conference focused on combatting antisemitism. He noted that even before the current conflict, there had been a "steady rise" in incidents of antisemitism.

Trudeau highlighted specific incidents, including a potential hate crime at a Jewish high school in Toronto just last week, apprehensions among synagogue attendees fearing possible attacks, and an uptick in hostile online rhetoric as evidence of the escalating antisemitism in Canada.

Authorities in Toronto, the country's largest city, took action by apprehending three individuals last Thursday after they made threats at the Community Hebrew Academy. In response, police have bolstered security measures at Jewish cultural centers, synagogues, as well as Muslim mosques and other places of worship.

The Canadian prime minister also took a firm stance, condemning Hamas and affirming his support for Israel's right to self-defense. He drew a clear distinction between Hamas and pro-Palestinian voices.

"Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people, nor their legitimate aspirations. They do not speak for Muslim or Arab communities, and they do not represent the better futures that Palestinians or their children deserve," Trudeau emphasized.

The violent Hamas attack on southern Israeli communities on October 7 resulted in a tragic toll of 1,300 lives lost, with approximately 200 individuals being taken hostage in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Since then, Israel has initiated a sustained campaign against Gaza, with health authorities reporting at least 3,000 casualties. A recent hospital strike on Tuesday claimed the lives of 500 Palestinians, prompting a blame game between Israeli and Palestinian officials.