On Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister announced that on November 7, Canada would officially apologize for turning away the MS St. Louis, a ship carrying 907 German Jews fleeing the Nazi regime, in 1939. Trudeau’s announcement seemed to be a sop thrown to supporters of more open immigration to Canada as well as a defense of the Jewish people, but another perspective indicates there is good reason for Jews to view the announcement with suspicion.
Trudeau followed with this tweet that could easily make the entire announcement look like a cynical ploy, as Hillel Neuer of U.N. Watch noted:
In May, the terrorist organization Hamas in Gaza organized protests in which they had a multitude of their members demonstrating at the border in order to initiate conflict with Israel, likely so that Hamas members could ultimately infiltrate Israel and implement terrorist attacks. Hamas later admitted that 50 of the 62 Palestinians reported killed during the Gaza border riots were members of the Islamist terrorist group. After the cynically-manipulated event caused international outrage against Israel, Yoram Schweitzer, an expert on international terrorism, wrote in the Jerusalem Post:
The preaching and shock in the international media are accompanied by horrifying images framed under misleading headlines. Such images create a partial reality, ignoring the reality outside the focused frame as well as the wider context. They do not express the danger inherent in mass demonstrations by civilians, including men, women and young boys and girls, and lead to misunderstandings about the actual danger to human life inherent in “cold” weapons. Behind them are well-armed squads with a clear intention to exploit the chaos to shoot, plant bombs or kidnap Israeli soldiers and civilians.
But Trudeau issued a statement condemning Israel:
Canada deplores and is gravely concerned by the violence in the Gaza Strip that has led to a tragic loss of life and injured countless people. We are appalled that Dr. Tarek Loubani, a Canadian citizen, is among the wounded – along with so many unarmed people, including civilians, members of the media, first responders, and children … Reported use of excessive force and live ammunition is inexcusable.
Trudeau was slammed by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), which launched a petition demanding the Canadian government reiterate its previous condemnation of Hamas as a terrorist organization, which Trudeau refused to do.
CIJA CEO Shimon Koffler Fogel stated, “We are deeply disappointed the government’s statement ignores Hamas’ direct responsibility for recent violence on the Israel-Gaza border. This contradicts the government’s long-stated position that, as a close ally and fellow liberal democracy, Israel can count on Canada’s support when its security is threatened.”
Avi Benlolo, the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center’s president and CEO, echoed, “While we despair about loss of life, Canada should steadfastly condemn Hamas for inciting violence and for attempting to enter a sovereign nation to carry out terrorism. It’s disappointing that our prime minister did not condemn Hamas in his statement.”