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Press Release: House Unanimously Adopts Cotler’s Historic Motion Condemning “Alarming Rise Of Global Anti-Semitism”

Posted on February 25, 2015

Motion calls upon government to “advance the combating of anti-Semitism as a domestic and international priority”

Ottawa – February 25, 2015 – Liberal MP Irwin Cotler, founder and co-chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism, today secured unanimous support for a motion denoting “an alarming increase in anti-Semitism worldwide,” including “the firebombing of synagogues and community centres, the vandalizing of Jewish memorials and cemeteries, incendiary calls for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people, and anti-Jewish terror.”

Cotler, who recently addressed the first-ever United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Antisemitism as an expert, initiated – with Minister of Multiculturalism Jason Kenney – last night’s take-note debate in the House of Commons on the rise of global Antisemitism. Members of all parties contributed to the four-hour discussion.

The motion “reaffirms the importance of the Ottawa Protocol on Combating anti-Semitism as a model for domestic and international implementation,” and calls on the government to “continue advancing the combating of anti-Semitism as a domestic and international priority.”

The text of the motion is as follows:

That, in the opinion of the House:

a) there has been, in the words of the Joint Statement issued following the meeting of the United Nations General Assembly  on January 22, 2015, “an alarming increase in Antisemitism worldwide,” including the firebombing of synagogues and community centres, the vandalizing of Jewish memorials and cemeteries, incendiary calls for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people, and anti-Jewish terror;

b) this global anti-Semitism constitutes not only a threat to Jews but an assault on our shared democratic values and our common humanity;

Therefore the House:

a) declares its categorical condemnation of anti-Semitism;

b) reaffirms the importance of the Ottawa Protocol on Combating anti-Semitism as a model for domestic and international implementation;

c) reaffirms, in the words of the Ottawa Protocol, that, “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;”

And the House further calls upon the government to:

a) continue advancing the combating of anti-Semitism as a domestic and international priority;

b) expand engagement with civil society, community groups, educators, and other levels of government to combat anti-Semitism and to promote respect, tolerance, and mutual understanding.

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