November 15, 2023
OTTAWA – B’nai Brith Canada is indignant that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau felt the need to indirectly accuse Israel of targeting civilians in Gaza in an emotionally charged Tuesday address in Vancouver.
Among other things, Trudeau said the “price of justice” for Hamas’ brutal Oct. 7 terrorist attacks could not be the “continued suffering of all Palestinian civilians,” especially “women, children, and babies.” He also said, “Even wars have rules,” implying Israel’s forces are violating international law.
As B’nai Brith’s Michael Mostyn and David Matas recently argued in an op-ed, knee-jerk claims that Israel is violating international law in responding to Hamas terrorism only benefits Hamas.
“Unfortunately, the PM did not offer any constructive solutions to help people on the ground in Gaza,” said Mostyn, B’nai Brith Canada’s Chief Executive Officer. “Passionately conveying misinformation is especially irresponsible at a time like this, when antisemitism is spiking.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also condemned Trudeau’s comments:
“While Israel is doing everything to keep civilians out of harm’s way, Hamas is doing everything to keep them in harm’s way,” he said in a post on X. “Israel provides civilians in Gaza humanitarian corridors and safe zones, Hamas prevents them from leaving at gunpoint.
“It is Hamas not Israel that should be held accountable for committing a double war crime – targeting civilians while hiding behind civilians.”
Within the last two weeks, tensions spilling over from the Middle East conflict have contributed to hatred and even violence on our streets. In Montreal, Jewish institutions were shot at on two separate occasions and a Molotov Cocktail was thrown at a synagogue. Surely the Prime Minister must understand the negative impact spreading misinformation about Israel has on the Jewish community in Canada.
“As PM, he must be a voice of reason, calm and unity,” Mostyn said. “Sadly, the speech he gave in Vancouver failed woefully in that respect.”