After Ottawa monument is vandalized, Ontario adopts International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s ‘working definition of anti-Semitism’ -…

Posted By on October 28, 2020

The Ontario cabinet has adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliances working definition of anti-Semitism after recent vandalism at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa.

Government House Leader Paul Calandra said Premier Doug Fords ministers took swift and decisive action Monday to recognize the definition even before the passage of legislation currently before the house.

After a heinous act of anti-Semitism at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa it is crucial that all governments be clear and united in fighting anti-Semitism and our adoption of the working definition has done just that, Calandra said Tuesday.

The government of Ontario is proud to adopt and recognize the working definition of anti-Semitism. We stand with Ontarios Jewish community in defence of their rights and fundamental freedoms as we always have and always will, he said.

Four years ago, the IHRA, an intergovernmental organization with 34 member nations, including Canada, adopted the definition that reads: anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.

Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities, the definition continues.

While MPPs are currently reviewing Bill 168, the proposed Combating anti-Semitism Act, Calandra said the cabinet wanted to move more quickly with a largely symbolic gesture.

Ontario is the first province in Canada to use the working definition.

In a statement, Michael Levitt, president and CEO of the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, said we applaud the government of Ontario for joining the dozens of other governments around the world in adopting the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, a vital tool in the ongoing fight against hatred and discrimination targeting the Jewish community in Ontario.

Jews continue to be subjected to vile rhetoric and propaganda and still remain the minority group most targeted by hate crime, which is nothing less than an affront to our basic democratic values as Ontarians, said Levitt, a former Liberal MP.

Not everyone was happy with the move.

While the New Democrats supported Bill 168, they expressed concern that the government secretly adopted the definition, behind closed doors and passed it by Ford edict instead of by democratic vote.

Anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic acts of hate are growing in Ontario, and we need to take concrete actions as a province to stomp out this growing, racist movement, said NDP MPP Gurratan Singh (Brampton East).

Adopting a new definition of anti-Semitism should be done in consultation with the people of Ontario, and discussed in open and transparent debate. Excluding the voices of community members is no way to build a united coalition against hate.

Others have opposed the implementation of the working definition out of concern it might conflate anti-Semitism with criticism of Israels policies toward Palestinians.

On Oct. 16, a bike-riding suspect scratched hate graffiti onto the Ottawa monument, earning the condemnation of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, among other leaders.


The anti-Semitic desecration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is completely unacceptable, Trudeau said on Twitter.

I strongly condemn this hateful act.

Read the original:

After Ottawa monument is vandalized, Ontario adopts International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's 'working definition of anti-Semitism' -...

Related Posts


Comments are closed.

matomo tracker