Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.):
Mr. Chair, last month I had the privilege of participating in the first ever United Nations General Assembly forum in what I would characterize as a resurgence of an alarming global anti-Semitism. This meeting took place on the occasion of an important moment of remembrance and reminder. It took place on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the most brutal extermination camp of the 20th century, the site of horrors too terrible to be believed, but not too terrible to have happened.
There were 1.3 million people murdered at Auschwitz, 1.1 million of them were Jews. Let there be no mistake about it: Jews died at Auschwitz because of anti-Semitism, but anti-Semitism did not die. As we have learned tragically, and only too well, while it may begin with Jews, it does not end with Jews. Once again in France and elsewhere, Jews are the canary in the mineshaft of global evil.
This was tragically made clear by the recent attacks in France at the Hyper Cacher supermarket and the Jewish community centre in Nice, the attacks in Argentina and more recently, the shooting at a bar mitzvah in Copenhagen. These incidents are only the most recent manifestation of a more general rise in anti-Semitism in Europe and throughout the world.
I would like to share with the assembly this evening some thoughts, reflections and concerns on the Jewish condition and the human condition, about assaults on Jews and assaults on human rights, about the state of Jews in the world today and about the state of the world inhabited by Jews, of anti-Semitism as the paradigm of radical hate as the Holocaust is the paradigm of radical evil.
My underlying thesis this evening, simply put, and as I shared it at the UN General Assembly, is that we are witnessing a developing, somewhat incrementally, imperceptibly and often indulgently an old-new, escalating, global, sophisticated, virulent and even lethal anti-Semitism. We have been witnessing this now for 40 years. It is one now held to be reminiscent of some of the atmospherics of the 1930s and is without parallel or precedent in its global configuration since the end of the Second World War.
This new anti-Jewishness overlaps with classical anti-Semitism—the member for Ottawa Centre spoke about definitions and frameworks, and I will try to share some—but is distinguishable from it. It found early juridical, and even institutional, expression in the United Nations’ “Zionism is Racism” resolution – which, as the late U.S. Senator Daniel Moynihan said, “gave the abomination of anti-Semitism the appearance of international legal sanction”, but has gone dramatically beyond it. This new anti-Semitism almost needs a new vocabulary to define it, but it can best be identified from an anti-discrimination, equality rights, and international law perspective.
In a word, classical or traditional anti-Semitism is the discrimination against, denial of, or assault upon, the rights of Jews to live as equal members of whatever society they inhabit. The new anti-Semitism involves the discrimination against, denial of, or assault upon, the right of the Jewish people to live as an equal member of the family of nations, or their right to even live, with Israel emerging as the targeted collective Jew among the nations.
Observing the intersections between old and new anti-Semitism and the impact of the new on the old, Per Ahlmark, the former deputy prime minister of Sweden, pithily, and one would say, presciently concluded some 15 years ago, given what has happened in the 21st century. He said:
|Compared to most previous anti-Jewish outbreaks, this [new anti-Semitism] is often less directed against individual Jews. It attacks primarily the collective Jews, the State of Israel. And then such attacks start a chain reaction of assaults on individual Jews and Jewish institutions…In the past, the most dangerous anti-Semites were those who wanted to make the world Judenrein, ‘free of Jews.’ Today, the most dangerous anti-Semites might be those who want to make the world Judenstaatrein, ‘free of a Jewish state.|
May I summarize now some four indicators of this old-new anti-Jewishness. I have also written about some 10 indicators. For reasons of time, I will seek to summarize four.
The first indicator, and the most lethal manifestation of it, is what might be called genocidal anti-Semitism. These are not words that l would use lightly or easily. I am referring here to the Genocide Convention’s prohibition against the direct and public incitement to genocide, which caused our Supreme Court of Canada to write, “The Holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers – it began with words”.
In a more recent judgment, the Mugesera judgment, the court again said that incitement to genocide was a crime in and of itself, whether or not acts of genocide followed. Regrettably, we have seen four manifestations of this genocidal anti-Semitism, which reached a tipping point in the wake of the Hamas terrorist war against Israel this past summer.
The first is the state-sanctioned incitement to hate and genocide in Khamenei’s Iran. I use to distinguish it from the people and public of Iran, who are otherwise the targets of massive domestic repression.
The second manifestation is the covenant and charters of such terrorist movements as Hamas, whose charter continues to call publicly for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews wherever they may be.
If this is known, perhaps the anti-Semitic tropes in the charter are not. The Hamas charter is replete with such anti-Semitic tropes as the Jews were responsible for the French Revolution, for the First World War, for the Second World War, for the League of Nations, for the United Nations, for the end of the Islamic Caliph. It concludes that no war has broken out anywhere without the fingerprints of Jews on it.
A third manifestation has been the religious fatwas, or genocidal calls by radical Imams. I distinguish this from mainstream Islam. I distinguish that from Islam. It is a kind of perversion of Islam. We saw this in various mosques in Berlin, Paris, in the U.K., and the like which publicly called themselves for the killing of Jews, where Jews and Judaism were characterized as perfidious enemies of Islam, where the Jews became, as it were, the Salman Rushdie of the nations.
Finally, there were hate-filled demonstrations in Europe this summer and since, which I personally witnessed, replete with genocidal chants of “Jews, Jews to the gas”, joined with or followed by the torching of synagogues, the attacks on Jewish community centres, attacks on Jewish identifiable people and places which caused the president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews to say to me in Berlin when we met in November, “These are the worst times since the Nazi era. On the street, you heard things like, ‘the Jews should be gassed, the Jews should be burned”.
As Roger Cukierman, the president of the Council of Jewish Institutions of France, put it, these were very frightening times, ”They are screaming ‘Death to the Jews’” in the streets. Eight synagogues were firebombed in four weeks in the last weeks of July, beginning of August alone. Similar statements were made to me by the chairman of the Jewish community in Belgium and elsewhere.
In a word, Israel is the only country and Jews the only people who are the standing targets of state-sanctioned incitement to hate and genocide, which finds expression in terrorist assaults as manifestations of it.
The second indicator is the globalizing indictment of Israel and the Jewish people as the embodiment of all evil, as being racists, imperialists, colonialists, ethnic-cleansing, child-killing, genocidal Nazi people and state, the embodiment of all the worst evils of the 20th century and constituted of all evils in the 21st century.
To sum up this second indicator and to close, it is not only that the Jewish people are the only people who are the standing targets of state-sanctioned incitement to hate and genocide, but they are the only people who are themselves accused of being genocidal. That is a kind of incitement that leads, and has led, to terrorist assaults upon them.
Mr. Scott Reid (Lanark—Frontenac—Lennox and Addington, CPC):
Mr. Chair, a few years ago I was the vice-chair of the inquiry panel of the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism, chaired by our former colleague, Mario Silva. Our colleague from Mount Royal was a leading member and a leading light behind that initiative.
A number of recommendations came forward from that inquiry panel. One of them, recommendation 24, reads as follows:
|The Inquiry Panel recognizes that the work of the United Nations in relation to Israel is beyond the purview of this report, and therefore recommends that the Committee of Foreign Affairs of the House of Commons undertake a study of the equity of the United Nations Human Rights Council, particularly regarding its over-emphasis of alleged human rights abuses by Israel, while ignoring flagrant human rights abuses of other member states.|
I raise this point because the foreign affairs committee is not really in a position to raise this matter. The sub-committee of the foreign affairs committee on international human rights is the one that is in the right position. I chair that sub-committee, and the hon. member is on that sub-committee. I want to ask him if he would consider raising this topic for us to consider in the remaining period that we have in the 41st Parliament.
Hon. Irwin Cotler:
Mr. Chair, I do think that we should raise it. In fact, if I had had more time, I would have shared something in my own remarks about this idea.
One of the more disturbing indicators of the old-new anti-Semitism is the laundering or masking of that anti-Semitism under universal public values—in other words, under the protective cover of the United Nations, under the authority of international law, under the culture of human rights and the struggle against racism, which all reflect and represent values held dearly by members in the House.
For example, with regard to the protective cover of the United Nations, in December the UN General Assembly adopted 20 resolutions of condemnation against one member state of the international community. It happened to be Israel. There were four resolutions of condemnation against the rest of the world combined. It was the singling out of one member state for differential discriminatory indictment.
With regard to invoking the authority of international law, in the month of December, the state parties to the Geneva Convention, the protective international humanitarian law, has put only one state in the docket, and this for the third time, in the last 50 years. That state, for all three times in the last 50 years, happened to be Israel. Rwanda and Darfur did not make a difference. The only state ever brought before the Geneva Convention was Israel.
The third example was what my colleague referred to in terms of the United Nations Human Rights Council, the protector of human rights and something that we subscribe to. Some 50% of all its resolutions are condemnatory of one state. Some 50% of its special sessions are condemnatory of one state.
I will conclude by saying that I spoke at and appeared before the UN Human Rights Council. I can tell members that when we look the agenda items for every meeting of that UN Human Rights Council, agenda item 7 is human rights violations by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory and agenda item 8 is human rights violations in the rest of the world.
Mr. Wayne Marston (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, NDP):
Mr. Chair, over the last nine years that I have been in the House, we have spent a lot of time identifying those places and times where either Israel or the Jewish community has been singled out for violent action or at least been vilified.
When I spoke earlier, I raised the point to the minister that, yes, we have to have security in place and laws that protect all Canadians, but I would ask the member if he agrees that an essential component of our actions has to be education. I cannot see any other way that we can stop it. We can prevent an incident or we can get to the point where we can track people, but we have to change attitudes, and that has to come from understanding.
I would like to hear his comments on that point.
Hon. Irwin Cotler:
Mr. Chair, I agree with my colleague that education is crucial. Someone who is a hero to all of us, Nelson Mandela, referred to education as a transformative change agent in the struggle against racism. I think education is crucial, and the Ottawa Protocol to Combat Antisemitism makes express reference to the importance of education, along with other recommendations, as the Minister for Multiculturalism pointed out. I would recommend to this House that we act upon those recommendations in the Ottawa Protocol to Combat Antisemitism and make that our priority in our relationships with other countries in that regard.
Hon. Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul’s, Lib.):
Mr. Chair, I would ask if the member could explain why anti-Semitism is different from all other forms of discrimination and racism.
Hon. Irwin Cotler:
Mr. Chair, one might ask why in fact we have a take-note debate on anti-Semitism. What about the other types of racism and discrimination that we must be concerned about, as the member for Ottawa Centre mentioned?
There are certain features that do make anti-Semitism unique.
Number one, it is the oldest and most enduring of hatreds, and is in fact the most lethal in that regard.
Second, it is the one form of racism that has a global dimension, such that we find it even in countries without Jews. I just read that in Yemen, where there are only some 55 Jews left, the militant Houthis, who are controlling Yemen, say that their primary foreign policy objective is to target Jews.
The third is that the species of racism known as anti-Semitism is characterized by what I mentioned: state-sanctioned and state-orchestrated incitement to hate, even to genocide.
Fourth, no other form of racism is laundered under universal public values, as I mentioned.
Number five, there is a dramatic global escalation in anti-Semitic attacks on Jews, Jewish property, and Jewish institutions. This pandemic of hatred has rendered the largest incidence of attacks on Jews ever, be it in France, the United Kingdom, or across Europe.
The last point is that we are witnessing a resurgence of the classical libels with respect to Jews. I will not go into it, but there are some six historical libels, such as the particular libel with regard to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, all of which have been resurrected again in a global configuration. No other people and, I would say, not other state is the object of such a litany of libels.
Hon. Alice Wong (Minister of State (Seniors), CPC):
Mr. Chair, I would like to thank my hon. colleague from Mount Royal for his remarks. I know that he has worked very closely with the Minister for Multiculturalism over the years on the issue of combatting anti-Semitism.
Could the hon. member describe his own experience in working on this important issue with the government and with the Minister for Multiculturalism in particular? Could he highlight some of the accomplishments that resulted from this co-operation?
Hon. Irwin Cotler:
Mr. Chair, we had, I believe, members from all parties and all sides working together to establish the Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism. The Minister for Multiculturalism played an important role, which reference was made earlier. From that we both went to London for the London Conference Against Anti-Semitism in 2009. The minister was there. He played a central role in the 2010 Ottawa Conference on Combating Anti-Semitism.
In both London and Ottawa, we adopted important declarations and protocols, and the minister referred to them this evening.
I will conclude by saying that I take this to be a shared objective and a shared engagement by members of all parties. The time has come to sound the alarm about this globalizing hatred, which is the canary in the mine shaft of global evil.
Hon. Mauril Bélanger (Ottawa—Vanier, Lib.):
Mr. Chair, last year I had the good fortune to attend a seminar in Budapest that my colleague from Mount Royal chaired with four other European parliamentarians from Poland, Spain, Greece, and, I believe, the Netherlands. The seminar was on dealing with the rising anti-Semitism in Europe. I think my colleague should share what he heard there, because it was rather instructive and revealing.
Hon. Irwin Cotler:
Mr. Chair, that was a disturbing experience. We had parliamentarians from different European countries. Most of the parliamentarians on the panel that I chaired were non-Jews, but they all spoke of their sense of alarm at the growing incidence of anti-Semitism that they were witnessing not only in their countries but even, as my colleague will recall, in their parliaments.
This was a disturbing phenomenon. I have not made reference to it this evening, but it was something to which they spoke. It goes back to the importance that was mentioned about the need for education, and the need for that education applies with regard to parliamentary assemblies as well.
I hope we will all begin to learn more about this hateful phenomenon, and in learning more about it be able to learn how to more effectively combat it.
Hon. Gerry Byrne:
Mr. Chair, the hon. member has confused the message and the debates a lot. If I could offer some perspective, having been to Israel and attending the Knesset, the debate in Israel is pretty intense at times. Israelis are very forward thinking. Israel is a very democratic nation that serves its best interest by serving democracy. There is always debate.
However, to suggest that if one offers criticism to Israel, that somehow one is anti-Semitic has never been an utterance that has ever occurred on the floor of this chamber through the course of this debate. What we have said, collectively and very clearly, is that anti-Semitism is a very real phenomenon that is born in hatred. It is not born in criticism, not in public discourse of fair minded people and fair minded values. It is born on hatred. It incites violence and it will create an era of intolerance.
If that is the message that has confused her in this chamber, I also feel it becomes so painfully clear that the message could be confused elsewhere. That is why we have to speak out so loudly, so forcefully and so clearly to define anti-Semitism as a hatred and a violence that will not be tolerated. Those who seek peace, who seek discourse, as we did at Humber—St. Barbe—Baie Verte, who embrace all cultures and all citizens will all have a place. That is the lesson maybe we can all take home from this.
Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.):
Mr. Chair, I want to commend my colleague from Newfoundland and Labrador for his informed and inspiring remarks. I appreciate his reference to Jack Marshall, who was a great colleague and great contributor to Canada, and also for his reference to the anti-Semitic vandalism and threats in Montreal today. It may not be known to the members in this House that the incident actually occurred on Côte-St-Luc Road, which borders my riding. I have heard many concerned responses from my constituents since this occurred earlier today.
In particular, I am pleased that the member from Newfoundland and Labrador has kindly offered me an opportunity to split the time with him and has invited me to comment on the Ottawa Protocol on Combating Antisemitism, a central instrument for the purposes of engaging in countering anti-Semitism domestically and internationally. I am pleased to do so, because many colleagues this evening have referenced the protocol. Others have also spoken about the importance of education in combatting anti-Semitism. They both converge with regard to the Ottawa protocol as an educational, policy-making, action-oriented instrument. I just would like to excerpt from it, because I think this could be part of our learning experience this evening.
The Minister of Finance earlier asked, why anti-Semitism? In fact, the Ottawa protocol makes some reference to it. It says:
|We are appalled by the resurgence of the classic anti-Jewish libels, including:|
|The Blood Libel (that Jews use the blood of children for ritual sacrifice)|
|The Jews as “Poisoners of the Wells”–responsible for all evils in the world|
|The myth of the “new Protocols of the Elders of Zion”–the tsarist forgery that proclaimed an international Jewish conspiracy bent on world domination–and accuses the Jews of controlling government, the economy, media and public institutions.|
|The double entendre of denying the Holocaust [on the one hand]…and the nazification of the Jew[s][on the other].|
Finally, the Ottawa protocol set forth a working definition for anti-Semitism. It drew on the European Union monitoring centre, now the fundamental rights agency, working definition. For some reason, it has dropped it, but because its definition is referenced in so many educational programs and in parliamentary initiatives, I am going to now reaffirm the definition, as put forth in the Ottawa protocol. I do that in two respects, both in its reference to the definition of traditional “anti-Semitism” and of the new anti-Semitism. It speaks of:
|Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:|
I will just give two examples. It gives about seven.
|Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.|
|Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective—such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth [again] about a world Jewish conspiracy, or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.|
It goes on to a matter of particular importance, and that is examples of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the State of Israel. Here it gives specific and express examples:
|Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavour.|
I was reminded, on Martin Luther King Day, that Martin Luther King Jr. used to say that the denial to the Jewish people of the right to self-determination, a right that we affirm for all nations of the globe, including African nations, is in fact, simply put, anti-Semitism.
Another example it gives is the following:
|Applying double standards by requiring of it a behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.|
Let us be clear. Israel, like any other state, is responsible for any violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.
The Jewish people are not privileged with respect to equality before the law because of the historical Jewish suffering or that of the Holocaust. The promise is not that anyone would claim that Israel be above the law, but rather that Israel is being systematically denied equality before the law as an example set forth this evening, particularly in the international arena. It is not that human rights standards are being applied to Israel, but that these standards are not being applied equally to everyone else. It is not that Israel must respect human rights, which she must, but that the rights of Israel deserve not more but equal respect.
Another example here is the notion of using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism, including claims of Jews killing Jesus and the like, to characterize Israel or Israelis, or drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis, or holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the State of Israel. But clearly as it states in the protocol, criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.
Let me close with a particular statement and declaration that I take responsibility for authoring as part of the Ottawa protocol, which says:
|Let it be clear: Criticism of Israel is not antisemitic, and saying so is wrong. But singling Israel out for selective condemnation and opprobrium— let alone denying its right to exist or seeking its destruction—is discriminatory and hateful, and not saying so is dishonest.|
As the Ottawa protocol concludes with a call to parliamentarians in particular to adopt the EUMC working definition of anti-Semitism, which no longer appears to be in place, and to anchor its enforcement in existing law, I call on all members here to reference the Ottawa Protocol to Combat Antisemitism as the framing reference for the definition of anti-Semitism old and new, and to make that the template for our understanding of anti-Semitism, for our policy-making in that regard, and for our actions domestically and internationally.
Mr. Harold Albrecht (Kitchener—Conestoga, CPC):
Mr. Chair, this is a very sobering discussion we are having tonight and I am glad it is not a debate. I want to thank my colleague for his incredible leadership on the human rights file generally, but specifically on this issue of anti-Semitism.
I want to assure my colleague that even though I am a follower of Jesus Christ and he was using his terms about Jesus, the churches that we are part of in this party certainly see the Jewish faith as the foundation for our faith and we value the Jewish people. I know he knows that already, but I wanted to comment about that publicly and thank him for his good work.
I was appalled today to see some of the things that happened in Montreal. I wonder if my colleague who is from that area would care to comment about that. I want him and all our Jewish friends to know that we stand with them in solidarity.
Hon. Irwin Cotler:
Mr. Chair, what unnerved people today in Montreal and, as I said, adjacent to my riding and partly in my riding, was not only the anti-Semitic vandalism involved, but also the threat involved. That is the thing that has disturbed and unnerved people, the nature of the hateful threat.
That is something that we have been discussing here this evening and it has to be part of a preventive approach, because education about anti-Semitism, its history, its dangers, and the fact that while it may begin with Jews, it does not end with Jews, is something that if we internalize those understandings and act upon then, then it will resonate for the welfare of not only the Jews but also the human condition as a whole.
Mr. John Carmichael (Don Valley West, CPC):
Mr. Chair, I am honoured to participate in tonight’s debate and discussion on the global rise of anti-Semitism.
Tonight I will be sharing my time with the member for Willowdale. I appreciate his intervention as well.
As is well known, promoting and defending freedom of religion are key Canadian foreign policy priorities. We believe that societies that protect freedom of religion or belief are more likely to protect all other universal rights and fundamental freedoms. Through the Office of Religious Freedoms, established within the Department of Foreign Affairs and headed by Ambassador Andrew Bennett, Canada works internationally to combat anti-Semitism and other forms of intolerance on the basis of religion or belief.
The religious freedom fund is supporting three initiatives addressing anti-Semitism.
The fund is supporting the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights’ mandate by providing $500,000 to promote religious freedom, particularly given the increasing anti-Semitism and discrimination against Christians and Muslims in some OSCE member states. This project aims to promote international standards on freedom of religion, focusing on communities in central Asia and the south Caucasus.
The fund also supported the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation by providing $400,000 to assist with the preservation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial site, part of the UNESCO world heritage list.
The most recent project supported by the fund is UNESCO’s 2015 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. The aim of this $100,000 project was to mobilize decision makers in favour of policies that promote Holocaust education, genocide prevention, and Holocaust awareness through different educational tools. On January 27 of this year, many members of this House and our government participated in these moving ceremonies held throughout the world.
As some hon. members know, Canada became a full member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, IHRA, in 2009. Ambassador Bennett was appointed head of the Canadian delegation to IHRA in March of 2014.
Canada actively encourages all states to take a zero tolerance approach to anti-Semitism. This can be achieved in part by becoming a member of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and supporting the principles outlined in the Ottawa protocol. The Ottawa protocol was in response to the alarming wave of anti-Semitism in Canada, especially on the campuses of many of our universities.
I would like to also recognize the member for Mount Royal tonight and thank him for his intervention in bringing some of those definitions and important measures forward for our understanding
The Ottawa protocol urges universities to combat anti-Semitism with:
|…the same seriousness with which they confront other forms of hate. Specifically, universities should be invited to define antisemitism clearly, provide specific examples, and enforce conduct codes firmly, while ensuring compliance with freedom of speech and the principle of academic freedom…. Indeed, there should be zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind against anyone in the university community….|
Canada must keep on fighting anti-Semitism by using all the tools at our disposal. I am pleased to add my voice in calling for zero tolerance not only on our university campuses but throughout the world. It is important that we reiterate “never again” to the Holocaust and to anti-Semitism. We must fight to bring it to an end with all the force we have available to us.
Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.):
Mr. Chair, because of the constraints of time, I offer my hon. colleague the opportunity to elaborate on any other point of reference within the Ottawa protocol, if he wishes. He quoted in particular with respect to universities. However, there are other paragraphs there that call upon parliamentarians to act, and I was wondering if he might like to reference one or more of those.
Mr. John Carmichael:
Mr. Chair, the Ottawa protocol was important because it brought focus and definition clearly to issues that had to be developed and discussed. Tonight, what an incredible opportunity this is for us to gather as colleagues to discuss these issues in unanimity and to arrive at a place where we clearly agree that this has to be addressed.
The member talks about the Ottawa protocol. I want to address one item that I thought was particularly poignant, and that is:
|The Inquiry Panel’s conclusion, unfortunately, is that the scourge of anti-Semitism is a growing threat in Canada, especially on the campuses of our universities.|
The report cites numerous examples of anti-Semitism on various campuses, including the infamous incident in 2009 when Jewish students at York University were chased and barricaded themselves in the Hillel Lounge, while a mob outside taunted them with anti-Semitic slurs.
The list of examples goes on, but it is important that we identify and hold accountable those where these types of situations occur. The Ottawa protocol provides the tools and the ability for us to do just that.