The Canadian capital, Ottawa, reversed a decision it had made to cancel a ceremony for an Israeli flag raising at city hall on Israel’s Independence Day (Yom Ha’atzmaut) on May 14, the Canadian Jewish News reported.

The ceremony had initially been cancelled over security concerns but a group of Ottawa Jewish residents planned to hold a rally at city hall to mark the occasion anyway.

The city had issued a statement on May 7, writing that after consulting with the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) and others, “recent intelligence that suggests hosting a public ceremony poses a substantial risk to public safety.”

On Friday, the same day Jewish organizers announced plans to hold a gathering at city hall despite the ceremony’s cancellation, Mayor Mark Sutcliffe posted online that the matter was being revisited.

“Like all residents of our city, Ottawa’s Jewish community deserves to gather whenever it chooses in an environment that is free from hate, violence, and racism. This is fundamental to a city that is free and democratic,” Sutcliffe wrote.

“Over the past two days, I have listened carefully to members of the community and I agree that they, and everyone in our community, should be able to hold events in public spaces without fear of threats and intimidation. My responsibility is to do everything possible to protect the safety of all members of our community,” the Mayor added.

“I’ve asked the chief of police and city officials to work with the Jewish Federation of Ottawa on a plan for an event to mark Israel's Independence Day while protecting the security and safety of everyone involved. We must ensure that members of the Jewish community - and all residents of our city - can gather whenever they choose to do so in safety, and free from intimidation and fear. We must continue to support our Jewish community, which is experiencing increasingly higher levels of antisemitism. Let’s all work together to ensure our city is safe and free from violence and racism in all its forms,” concluded Sutcliffe.

Jewish Federation of Ottawa (JFO) wrote in an email to community members that their voices supporting an event “resonated strongly” and the ceremony, which had been cancelled, was now being organized for the flag raising on Tuesday, May 14.

“The initial decision to cancel the event was based on information provided by City Hall, citing a definitive elevated risk to public safety,” the JFO email read in part, according to the Canadian Jewish News.

“Today, we are pleased to announce that we are working on a security approach with City Hall, CIJA (Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs), and the Ottawa Police Service that will allow us to move forward with a public flag raising ceremony.”