Canadian PM: 'Good intentions are not enough' to combat Jew hate

PM Trudeau speaks at national anti-Semitism summit criticized for failing to invite opposition leaders, including Jewish Green Party leader.

Dan Verbin ,


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke out against Jew hatred at a national anti-Semitism summit on Wednesday.

“Today, we’re here to continue to fight – and reject – antisemitism in all of its forms,” said Trudeau. “The rise in hate-motivated crimes against the Jewish community in the past few months is not only alarming, it’s completely unacceptable.”

He said that many Jewish Canadians have told him that they “isolated and vulnerable.”

“You’ve shared that this spike in violence, and this harassment, has left people in fear to publicly and proudly live Jewish lives,” he added.

Trudeau remarked that every Canadian deserves to feel safe.

“I want to reassure you that our government will always stand with you against this hate,” he said, noting that “good intentions are not enough.”

Trudeau pointed to his government’s adoption of the IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism.

“We know that these past months have been difficult, particularly with the distress and tension caused by the conflict in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank. Canada stands firm in its support for Israel’s right to live in peace with its neighbours within secure boundaries, and for Israel’s right to defend itself,” said Trudeau.

“We condemn the indiscriminate barrage of rocket attacks fired by Hamas into populated areas of Israel, putting civilians and children at risk. We remain committed to supporting progress towards a two-state solution, and continue to oppose unilateral actions that jeopardize the prospects for peace. And we will stand firmly with the Israeli and Palestinian peoples in their right to live in peace and security, and with their human rights respected.”

Trudeau said that his government will “always stand with and support the Jewish community.”

He concluded, “Together, I know that we will build a better Canada, a Canada where everyone is safe, no matter who they are, and no matter where they live. A Canada where every Canadian is part, an active part, of standing against intolerance and hatred in all its forms.”

B’nai Brith Canada had asked for community input ahead of the summit, which had been criticized for being largely closed to the public.

Federal leaders of the Conservative Party and the Green Party also spoke out against the fact that they were not allowed to speak at the event, organized by the governing Liberal Party, and had only been invited to observe the proceedings at the last minute.

“The government is hosting a National Summit on Antisemitism tomorrow. MPs, govt officials & Jewish civic leaders were all invited. I wasn’t,” said Green Party leader Annamie Paul. “I am the only Jewish Leader of a federal party and a constant target of anti-Semitism. The government knows I should be there.”

Incidents of anti-Semitism have risen sharply in Canada in recent years.

An audit by B’nai Brith Canada found an 18 percent rise in anti-Semitic incidents in 2020. The study reaffirmed that Jews were the most targeted religious group in the country.

In July, the government of Ontario announced a plan to counter rising anti-Semitism in schools and communities, partially by funding Holocaust education.