May 14, 2019
By Josh Aziza
B’nai Brith Canada
OTTAWA – In the wake of several antisemitic protests in Poland last weekend, B’nai Brith Canada is reiterating its call for Canada’s federal government to work with its Euro-Atlantic allies to combat antisemitism.
On April 25, 2019, B’nai Brith submitted a brief to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. The submission outlined specific measures Canada should take, in concert with like-minded partners in Europe and the United States, to combat the scourge of antisemitism, acknowledging it as a threat to liberal democracy.
The report, titled Antisemitism as a Threat to Liberal Democracy, describes the social, economic, and geopolitical factors that have precipitated the resurgence of antisemitism in Europe and other allied countries. It was submitted in response to the Committee’s efforts to study threats to liberal democracy in Europe.
The report proposes to the Committee several ways in which Canada can be a leader in helping our allies to combat the common threat of antisemitism, including:
- Defending the principles underlying international and intergovernmental agreements and promoting their relevance.
- Leading a Euro-Atlantic effort to create a web of national action plans to combat antisemitism, with education as a central focus, drawing on the work of organizations such as the OSCE’s Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights.
- Recognizing the considerable work done by European Union institutions in analyzing antisemitism and taking steps to combat it, while noting that antisemitism continues to increase and the reasons need to be better understood.
- Endorsing and joining European efforts to combat antisemitism as contained in the European Council’s Declaration of Dec. 6, 2018.
- Elaborating upon the principle that people who hold or express antisemitic views must not be allowed to be members of political parties or occupy positions of government leadership.
The report also proposes specific steps that can be taken to mitigate the threat of antisemitism, such as speaking out against the threat of Nazi glorification, and urges countries to accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.