St John's Harbour in Newfoundland, Canada
St John's Harbour in Newfoundland, Canada iStock

New anti-Israel bus ads in St. John’s, Newfoundland were denounced by the head of a Canadian Jewish advocacy organization this week.

The ads, one of which was pictured on the back of a St. John’s bus, feature the phrase “The State of Israel practices apartheid.” They were sponsored by Solidarity With Palestine St. John’s and contain a list of NGOs that have alleged Israel is an “apartheid state,” including Human Rights Watch, B’Tselem, Yesh Din, Amnesty International and Independent Jewish Voices.

“Sadly in Canada, our universities have allowed Antisemitism to permeate our campuses for more than two decades; now buses in St. Johns Newfoundland cary ads that falsely call Israel an ‘apartheid state’ and our streets are filled with hatred as pro-Palestinian protestors are allowed to call for genocide against the Jews. So why should anyone be surprised?” Avi Benlolo, the head of the Abraham Global Peace Initiative, said on Friday.

Benlolo also wrote about the bus ads in a recent op-ed in the National Post, denouncing them as part of the “pervasive antisemitism” that has spread from the United Nations Human Rights Council to cities in Canada.

“Its this kind of pervasive antisemitic behaviour by the politicized and ultra-biased United Nations Human Rights Council that has given legitimacy to the Israel-bashing on university campuses and on our own city streets,” Benlolo said.

“Recent reports of signs on city buses in St. John’s, N.L., calling Israel an ‘apartheid’ state are but one example. Yet although the signs were shocking to many Canadians, in Israel the ad only drew laughs from most people with whom I spoke while filming an upcoming documentary.”

In May, Newfoundland’s government vowed to confront antisemitism after B’nai Brith Canada alerted Premier Andrew Furey that the number of incidents in the province had remained at about the 2020 level, despite the latest B’nai Brith Audit having shown that there had been an overall decline in antisemitic incidents in the Maritimes.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)